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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Buffalos coach looking forward to rematch with Parsons Vikings

Buffalo sophomore running back Parker Schwarz, from left, gets help from junior Elijah Williams and freshman Reid Pugh on one of his 12 carries against Baxter Springs on Friday. (Photos by Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

The Prairie View Buffalos (5-4) will host the Parsons Vikings (8-1) on Friday, Nov. 3, in a regional class 3A playoff game that will decide which team will advance to play on Nov. 10 against the winner of the Frontenac-Burlington game.

It is a game Prairie View head coach Kyle LIttrell has been hoping for since the Vikings blew away the Buffalos 42-8 in the opening game of the season in September.

“It’s a game I have wanted back all year long,” Littrell said in an interview on Tuesday.

While the coach said he wanted all four of the team’s losses back, the Parsons loss was the one he wants most to avenge.

“We played scared,” Littrell said, adding that the game earlier this year had six turnovers and a 2-yard punt on the part of the Buffalos. In fact, he said, in a team meeting in preparation for Friday’s game, he had a list of at least 19 things the Buffalos did wrong in that game.

Peyton Doty, left, and Grant Steenbergen zero in on the Lions' ball carrier.

Parsons, the No. 2 seed in Division 1, which has Frontenac (8-1) as top seed, has been a nemesis for Prairie View, first seed in Division 2, for the past six years.

But Littrell is confident that he team has improved enough to make Friday’s rematch a game.

The Buffalos were spot on for their game in their 42-13 defeat of the Baxter Springs Lions, No. 4 seed in Division 2, in the first round of the playoffs on Friday, Oct. 27, according to Littrell.

The Buffalos had 339 yards of total offense, including 294 yards rushing and 45 yards on a single pass play from senior quarterback Gabe Murillo to sophomore back Parker Schwarz for a touchdown.

Baxter Springs had 293 yards of total offense, including 279 yards passing and 14 yards on the ground. But as Littrell points out, 92 yards of that were on pass plays for the Lions’ two touchdowns.

The Buffalos converted on three of four third-down plays, while the Lions converted just two of nine.

Schwarz carried the ball 12 times for 191 yards, including a 75-yard sprint into the end zone. Combined with his 45-yard pass play, Schwarz had a combined 136 yards and four touchdowns in the game. That gives Schwarz an average of 144 yards per game rushing and 25 touchdowns for the season so far.

Sophomore Josh Goodwin had eight carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns, junior Elijah Williams had four carries for 40 yards, and Murillo kept the ball three times for 54 yards.

On defense, junior Grant Steenbergen was credited with seven total tackles, freshman Carter Browning had six, seniors Peyton Doty and Carson Welch had five each, and Goodwin, senior Jarret Williams and junior Joe Sramek had four each. Steenbergen has been leading the defense this season with an average total tackles per game at eight, followed by Goodwin and Doty.

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