Watch a livestream of the game in the web player above.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Battle and Hannibal will do battle in the Week 9, which is the regular season finale, on Friday night.
The Spartans and the Pirates are our KZOU game of the week. You can watch the game live on KZOU over the air channel 17.3 at 7 p.m. Here is a look at other local listings:
- DirecTV - channel 18
- Dish Network - channel 32
- Mediacom - channel 12, 709
- Centurylink - channel 12
- Spectrum - channel 183
Battle head coach Matt Herman and company will go into Friday night's game off of a big CMAC win against Jefferson City in Week 8. The Spartans took down the Jays, 29-14, in a standout performance from the defense. That group shut out Jefferson City in the second half of the game, which gave room for the offense to work.
It was a good bounce back win for Battle, after getting shut out in a cross-town rivalry match with Rock Bridge, just one week prior.
Herman said that the win against the Jays is the first complete game his team has played this season.
"Really, for us, it started out up front. We challenged those guys all week, after Rock Bridge, to kinda play to their potential, play to their standards that they have set for themselves and that we have set. We focused on physicality with those guys and they responded well, especially in that second half," he said. "That was probably our most complete game all year."
You can watch the full interview with Herman ahead of Friday night's game in the video player below.
Battle leaned a lot on that defense, but, offensively, the run game took a big step forward, as well. Once again, Herman said that success came down to great execution from his guys up front. He also added that running back Kee'on Marshall has made the necessary adjustments this season.
"We kind of challenged him to run the ball harder and hit some holes and move faster and he really has responded well. We really got to see the full fruition of that challenge. The o-lineman and him, it was really great to see.
The Spartans will be hosting a Hannibal team with one of the best players in the state of Missouri on their roster, on Friday. Running back Aneyas Williams is in his senior season with the Pirates. The Notre Dame commit is, of course, a big threat on the ground, but also in the passing game, as well. In Week 8, he caught three passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns in a big conference win against Marshall.
Herman said limiting Williams' production will come down to rallying around the football. There needs to be more than one hat around the ball at all times.
"We know he can break a couple, if he's able to. But really, we're a good tackling team, usually," Herman said. "Certain guys like that, you try to contain them. You don't always stop them. For us, it's rally to the football. We have some really good playmakers, guys that understand what they're doing right now. If we continue to play that we are, you know, I really like our chances and our ability to stop him."
It's a tough regular-season finale, but the Spartans welcome the challenge, ahead of postseason play. Herman said it's the perfect test for his team.
"They have a great program, always have," he said. "They are always coached well. Their program has been great. The environment when we go there is great, when they come here it's great. Usually we all have great records coming in. They're a solid program."
Battle is playing for more than just another win on Friday night too. It will be senior night for Herman's group. In his first season at the helm of Spartan football, he said he could not have done it without the group of fourth year guys he has.
Herman took over the program less than a month before the season kicked off, but already knew a lot of the older players from his time at Battle years before. He worked as an assistant for the Spartans for a state championship run and six district titles, before working in Hawaii for a couple of years.
He said his return would not have been the same without his seniors.
"I think my task would have been a lot different and a lot more difficult without those guys. When you have guys you can lean on, guys you can trust," Herman said. "I don't think it would be nearly as smooth as it has without those guys, I really don't. Hats go off to them. Shows the true character of who they are."
Battle and Hannibal will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday night.
Don't miss the highlights from that game and games around Mid-Missouri on ABC 17 SportsZone Football Friday, beginning at 10:15 on ABC. View all area scores below.