When they make their return trip to the Edward Jones Dome Nov. 28 to play in their second straight Class 1 Show-Me Bowl, the Thayer Bobcats will find a familiar face waiting for them -- the Orrick Bearcats.
Picking up where they left off last year, the Bearcats roll into the Show-Me Bowl with a perfect 14-0 mark and I-70 Conference championship in tow.
The two schools met in the Class 1 title game last year, with the Bearcats earning the state title by virtue of a 20-8 victory over Thayer.
The Bobcats certainly had their chances against Orrick last season, but Thayer came up short deep on the Bearcats' side of the field on a couple of critical occasions.
"That's what hurt last year. We've got to be able to get in the red zone and execute. I think that's where we fell short last year," Thayer Head Coach Billy Webber said. "We got in the red zone a couple of times and came away with no points, so that'll be a critical part of our game plan this year."
And much like they were last year, the Bearcats are loaded and deep at running back this year.
And that's without graduated senior workhorse Taylor Eubank, who rushed for 1,902 yards and 31 touchdowns during his senior campaign a year ago.
Orrick has racked up 4,269 yards rushing in 2008, led by junior Aaron Blyth's 1,555 yards and 22 TDs.
Sophomore Kalija Rogers has rushed for 1,282 yards and 22 touchdowns, with Logan Eubank adding 944 yards and 10 TDs. In their 14 victories this year, Orrick has averaged 42 points per outing.
But more than just a powerhouse on offense, the Bearcats have been a force on defense, as well.
The Orrick defense has held nine of its opponents scoreless in 2008.
Here's the teams Orrick beat to earn its way to the Jones Dome:
*Sweet Springs 34-6
*Crest Ridge 48-0
*Santa Fe 50-0
*St. Paul Lutheran 62-0
*Wentworth Academy 46-0
*St. Mary's 42-0
*West Platte 48-39