FAUCETT, Mo. — It will be a district semi rematch come Friday night as Mid-Buchanan hosts East Buchanan in a setting similar to last year’s semifinal round, where the Dragons notched their first win over the Bulldogs since 2009.

“East Buch Week is just different,” Mid-Buchanan head coach Aaron Fritz said. “They beat us for so long and we’re just fortunate to get them earlier this year. But we know they’re going to come in ready to go and be very well prepared.”

Mid-Buchanan has topped the Bulldogs in back-to-back wins, including the historic 42-20 district semifinal win last season and the 46-6 victory this season at the Dragons’ home turf.

“We’re feeling good, we just have to keep on going hard in practice and play fast and physical,” senior Brayden Burleson added. “We just have to beat them and treat it like it’s every other week.”

The Dragons (9-1) are rolling off of a 55-8 win over Polo in the opening round of district play last week, but they’re still reeling from their close loss to Lincoln in the state semifinals last year, which ceased any championship hopes.

“We think we’re pretty good. We came back from last year. We’re trying to make it back there and maybe even farther,” junior Javan Noyes said.

“We didn’t like how last year ended and the way it did, so that’s definitely on our minds, but we know we gotta take it one step at a time,” Fritz said. “East Buch’s going to be a battle Friday, and in order for us to get to where we want to, we have to go out and play well against them first.”

Fritz said he’s focusing on the little details ahead of Friday night’s battle, and he knows the Bulldogs’ offensive unit requires extra preparation.

“They’re so tough to defend,” Fritz added. “They do so many different things. They’re so dynamic and they have such great players. Those guys fly around…and they go out and execute the game plan well.”

The Bulldogs got the better of North Platte last week in a 52-28 victory, now set for a return to Faucett at 7 p.m. Friday.

“It’s always a good game. We’re always going to get their best and we’re always going to play them our hardest, so it should be a good game,” Noyes said. “We just want to keep rolling, keep that momentum going, so hopefully a win will keep it going.”

Micaela Dea can be reached

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Micaela Dea is a sports reporter for News-Press NOW. She graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Growing up in San Diego, Micaela loves to travel, meet new people, and tell stories. Have a story idea? Don't hesitate to email!