The Liberty (0-2) are in search of their first win of the 2017 season after dropping their home opener to Wichita, 55-43, and a road loss to Omaha, 76-44.
Dodge City enters Saturday’s contest with a record of 2-0 after defeating Duke City in their home opener, 59-52, and a big road win over Wichita, 42-39.
Salina will take the field Saturday night with a familiar face back on the roster. Wide receiver Joe Kassanavoid was re-signed by the team on Thursday.
Kassanavoid, who played his collegiately at Kansas State University, previously played with the Wichita Wild and Wichita Force before arriving in Salina for the Liberty’s inaugural 2016 season. He caught 40 passes for 445 yards and 6 touchdowns during the season. He also stepped in at quarterback during the year, going 29 of 56 for 402 yards. He threw 5 touchdown passes and 5 interceptions. He also rushed for 156 yards on 34 carries and had 3 touchdowns. He was third on the team in total touchdowns and scoring and second on the team in total offense.
Also on Thursday, the team the signed wide receiver Stacey Howard and kicker Pete Smith.
Howard, who played collegiately at Texas A&M-Commerce, spent the 2016 season with the Chicago Eagles, where he led the team in receiving yards. He caught 39 passes for 459 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Smith is a graduate of Central Missouri University, where he was primarily a punter.
Saturday’s game will also feature two of the CIF’s league leading scoring passers. Liberty quarterback Joshua Floyd, Jr. and Dodge City quarterback Rudy Johnson are two of five players that currently lead the league with 7 total touchdown passes. Johnson is also currently fourth in the league in average passing yards per game. Floyd is currently eighth in that category. Dodge City wide receiver Daniel McKinney enters Saturday’s game as one of four players tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions with 3. He is also currently third in the league in average receiving yards per game.
Saturday nights game with be the first of two straight battles between the rivals as the two will meet again next week in Dodge City.
Kickoff for Saturday night’s game at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center is set for 6:35 p.m.