MONROE CITY, Mo. -- There was no wild celebration this time.
Instead, there were a few hugs before the Monroe City football team formed a line to shake hands with East Buchanan after winning Saturday's Class 1 state semifinal game 28-14 at Lankford Field and advancing to the state title game for the second straight year.
Top-ranked Monroe City will play third-ranked Ste. Genevieve Valle at 3 p.m. Saturday at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. Monroe City lost last year to Penney 47-14 in the state championship game at Plaster Stadium in Springfield.
Saturday's quiet reaction to winning is because Monroe City isn't settling for just making it to the title game.
"We're going to go down there and get some revenge," Monroe City fullback Cole Pennewell said. "We got second last year. We're not settling for that this year."
There was excitement, but it wasn't like the scene last year at Lankford Field. Monroe City is focused on winning the crown.
"We didn't come out (in title game) to win last year," quarterback Blake Hays said. "We played at state. We didn't come out to win. We want this really bad."
Pennewell showed that moxie during Saturday's game.
He picked up a stinger injury after a carry early in the fourth quarter. Pennewell stayed down for a couple minutes before walking off the field. He returned on Monroe City's next series and scored a 6-yard touchdown with 41 seconds remaining to ice the game.
"That sealed the deal for us," Pennewell said. "We shot ourselves a lot in the foot this game, but we have that bend-and-don't-break mindset. We had that today."
That's what has Monroe City back in the title game.
"It was great to make it last year," Hays said. "It's great to make it anytime, but we're going to come out this time. We'll be ready."