Benton and Savannah have traveled similar courses through the first month of the 2017 football season.
The two Midland Empire Conference foes enter this week’s meeting with 0-4 records to their name. Tonight, one will leave the field with their first victory of the season.
“I expect them to play hard, I expect us to play hard,” Benton coach Ben Glidewell said. “We’re both hungry.”
Both Glidewell and Savannah head coach Randy Schrader are going for their first wins since taking over their respective programs earlier this year.
The Cardinals and the Savages have played the same four opponents through their first four weeks. Harrisonville, Grain Valley, Lafayette and Smithville all have gotten the better of the two MEC opponents. Those four teams are a combined 12-4 on the season.
Benton has been outscored 158 to 68 in the first four games while Savannah has fallen by a combined 148 to 42. With contracting styles, the teams know that they can not take too much away from previous results.
“You try not to compare scores too much, but we do have a few common opponents, and that is a tell,” Glidewell said. “The big tell will be which team shows up (tonight) and which team executes and plays hard.”
Savannah enters the contest following a 53-0 loss to Lafayette. While there has not been a win for the team to hang its hats on so far this year, Schrader has been pleased with his team’s effort. He feels that the senior class has continued to provide leadership as it works to get the program back to what it was in the not-so-distant past.
“We tell (the senior class) that they’ll be the bedrock of this program for years to come,” Schrader said. “We’re going to look back on this year and they helped set the foundation for great things here at Savannah.”
It was the Cardinals that came away with a victory against Savannah in 2016. Benton held on for a 46-37 win on a game that was played on a Monday night last fall.
Savannah is hoping that the camaraderie that the new coaches help bring will lead to a positive result in this year’s contest.
“I think we just broke down,” Savannah senior Cameron Collier said about last year’s game. “We hated on ourselves and we weren’t a family then. We have to do our own jobs, be a family, be a brotherhood, it’s all about trust this week.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Savannah High School.