Liberty North and Oak Park will be the only Class 5 District 8 teams in action tonight.
The Eagles and the Northmen, the final two seeds in the small five-team district, face off at 7 p.m. tonight at North Kansas City Schools District Activities Complex. North earned the right to host the game, but because the Liberty Schools still does not have its district stadium (and William Jewell College's Greene Stadium is already booked), the game had to be moved out of town. It's a shame.
That said, the game will go on. The winner moves on to the district semifinals and will play top-seeded Staley next week. I fully expect Liberty North to be that team, while Oak Park will be resorted to turning in its equipment.
After losing four games in a row, I was worried North (3-6 overall record) might have folded the tent on the 2016 season. That wasn't the case as the Eagles dismantled Columbia Hickman last week, 47-12.
I believe tonight's game will go about the same. North's offense really started rolling for the first time all season last week, and that should continue tonight. Meanwhile, the Eagles defense should be able to keep Oak Park's Wing-T offense in check. Yes, the Northmen are always a threat to score with their misdirection option running game, but the one thing the Eagles have done well all year long is play tough, physical defense.
PREDICTION: Liberty North 39, Oak Park 6