Ozark defenders will keep a constant eye out for Branson forward Kyle Sutton tonight in the teams' Class 4 District 11 championship match.
Sutton, an All-COC First-Team selection last year, was scoreless in the Pirates' 2-1 semifinal win over Nixa earlier in the week. But he had a goal against Ozark in the teams' meeting last month and is Branson's career scoring leader.
"They try to force everything through Sutton," Tigers defender Mason Demoss said. "He's an excellent player. We'll have to make sure we know where he's at."
As Demoss mentioned, Ozark is convinced Branson's offense revolves around Sutton. Oskar Lauriac and Cris Abarka scored against Nixa.
"Their counter-attack with Kyle up top is really good," Tigers forward Carson Beets said. "We're going to have to shut that down."
"We'll have our hands full," Ozark coach Tom Davidson said. "They switch the ball really well. They do a good job getting the ball down on the flanks and crossing the ball. They work through the midfield well and the Sutton kid is a good player. He's a load."
Ozark (23-3) can set a single-season school record for wins with a victory. The Tigers will be trying for their third District title in four years. Branson (19-5) has never won a District championship.
"We've been here before," Demoss siad. "We'd like to win it again."