WEBB CITY, MO – Friday night will be a different atmosphere at Webb City High School. Cardinals head coach Ryan McFarland is set to coach his first playoff game in his career after posting a 7-2 record this season.

Securing a top seed, Webb City secured a critical bye week, but McFarland assured his group they need to keep the momentum going.

“Our kids showed up,” McFarland said.

“We preached all week that we have to be a better football team at the end of week than when we were at the beginning, and I feel everyone did a really good job. We had some scrimmages to keep the kids dialed in, and their intensity was great.”

Welcoming in Belton, Webb City will be facing an unfamiliar opponent. The Pirates are 6-4 coming off a 43-19 playoff win against Ruskin last week. Despite the uncertainty and pressure, sophomore Gabe Johnson said he is up for the challenge.

“It all feels great,” Johnson said.

“I know my team has got my back, and I’ll always have theirs. This year is important, and we know what we need to do to win.”

Defensive end Jace Jones echoed Johnson, but added the importance of how much Webb City has improved from last season.

“For us to have the ability to not only be in this position, but to be so much improved from last year is great,” Jones said.

“I’m glad our group is taking the steps to pursue our end goal, it’s really special.”

Webb City will host Belton on Friday at 7 p.m.