OZARK (KFSM) - It's Friday night in Ozark, and the Hillbillies are lined up under the stadium lights. The ball is snapped into quarterback Dawson Dietz's hands, and there's a good chance that Bryant Burns will be on the receiving end.
"We spent a lot of time together when we were younger in the spring and off-seasons. Just working together," Dietz remembered. "Spending a lot of hours after practice getting extra reps. We've just learned each others chemistry. We know what to expect out of each other when we're on the field and we're on the same mindset."
After a rocky 1-2 start to the season, Ozark has rallied back to go 6-0 in conference play for at least a share of the 4A-4 title and a guaranteed number one seed in the playoffs. A massive part of the comeback is due to Dietz and Burns.
"Over the years, we've just kinda learned what each others strengths and weaknesses are and how we can make each other better," Burns explained. "I feel like it's really what sets us apart from the other guys."
Dawson has completed 96 of 145 pass attempts for a 66% completion rate and rushed for 389 yards.
"He works as hard as any guy in here. He's worked the past two years not only to make himself physically better, but mentally better," Burns said of his teammate. "He studies and he's a great guy and a leader you can rally around and a guy that you can trust."
Bryant, son of head coach Jeremie Burns, has stunned in his junior campaign on both sides of the ball. On offense, he's racked up 626 receiving yards - making up more than a third of the Hillbilly's total for the season.
"He's matured physically. He's gotten a lot stronger over the years. Just smarter," Dietz said. "He played a little quarterback for us - backup. I think that knowledge of the play really helped him see what I see. It really gave him a stronger football IQ."
On the defensive side, Burns has five sacks and 32 tackles so far - showcasing his talent regardless of where he is on the field.
"On the field, he plays hard every down. Offense and defense. He remembers a lot," Coach Burns mentioned. "He's really good at remembering the calls, and things like getting us in the right spot. Learning the defense. He comes to the sidelines and says hey they're doing this to us in the secondary or something like that. Him and Dawson coming out to the sidelines."
A dominant duo like this doesn't come around often, but Ozark has taken full advantage as they fight to take home a state title for the first time in school history.
Elkins will host Ozark for the final game of the regular season on Friday at 7:00pm.