The Silver Tiger game between Lamar and Nevada is one steeped in tradition. 61 times in the past, the two schools, just 24 miles apart, have battled it out for bragging rights and a shiny piece of hardware named Oscar.
“It’s something that ties this team to all of the teams that played for it before,” Lamar head coach Scott Bailey said. “I think its an added level of excitement to Friday night football when you’re playing for that trophy.”
“I think its awesome for both communities,” Nevada head coach Wes Beachler said. “It’s a rivalry that is intense at times but also friendly. It draws a lot of attention to both teams when you have this kind of rivalry going on.
Even players who played in the rivalry game for the first time last year are excited to play it again this season.
“It just does so much, Lamar senior J.D. Bishop said. “Friday nights are exciting anyway but it brings it up a little more.”
Oscar has resided in Lamar the past 14 years. That’s due in large part to a 13-year hiatus in the rivalry. Lamar looks to keep it this way Friday night but it won’t be without a competitive game from Nevada who is looking to make its first victory of the season a statement one.
“There’s been some really good games over the past 20, 30, 40 years. We want to see that continue and we’re going to prepare to the best of our ability to represent Nevada well in this ballgame,” Beachler said.
Nevada leads the series all-time with 37 wins. But in the 13 years the game wasn’t played, Lamar built itself into a Missouri football dynasty. That plus playing at home would make Nevada’s first win in the rivalry since 2004 all the more sweeter.
“You know in our locker room there was a couple of pictures of the Nevada team holding up the silver tiger after the game,” Beachler said. “To have one here at home for the first time will make for a great atmosphere.”
Lamar on the other hand, hopes to take Oscar back home with them after the game.
“So it’s going back there for a little bit but hopefully it’s just for a few hours,” Bishop said.
Kickoff is set for 7 pm.