LATHROP, Mo — The postseason continues for Lathrop football.
After defeating Summit Christian 38-6 last Saturday, the Mules (13-0) return to the Class 2 semifinals.
“I think they’re focused. It’s got that big-game feel of course, so hopefully we can prepare everyday,” Lathrop head coach Chris Holt said.
Lathrop has won 27 of its last 28 games and remains undefeated this season, but so does its next opponent, Lutheran North (12-0).
“We’ve been watching film and we just know that they have the ability to make plays happen,” Lathrop senior safety Drew O’Connor said. “We have to make sure we get our back pedals in, stay deep and not let any big plays happen.”
Lutheran North defeated Scott City 57-8 in the quarterfinals last week.
Lathrop and Lutheran North were in the semifinals last season, but did not meet. Lutheran North was beat by Blair Oaks, the team that went on to defeat Lathrop in the final round.
“They obviously got tremendous athletes to throw the football to, so we’ve got to be really good in our coverage,” Holt said.
The Crusaders have numerous offensive threats, including senior linebacker Antonio Doyle, who is ranked the nation's No. 11 outside linebacker and Missouri’s fourth-best player by 247Sports.com.
“Offensively, we have to make sure our drives count. We got to have possessions where we score points,” Holt said. “I really think special teams is just tremendous in this game so we’re working really hard this week to try to maybe steal one or two on the special teams.”
The Mules will begin its journey to St. Louis on Friday morning. They will make a pitstop in Columbia, Missouri to practice at the University of Missouri's indoor facility before checking in at a hotel in Wentzville, Missouri.
“We need to play as a team and not jump on each other when someone makes a mistake and just play hard and fast,” senior linebacker and fullback Tanner Dalinghaus said.
Lathrop and Lutheran North will kick off at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bayless Senior High School in St. Louis, MO.