Most talked about Springfield News-Leader stories

Roberson, Redbirds will be challenge for MSU defense — During video scouting sessions this week, Missouri State linebacker Christian Hoffman did a double take. Illinois State quarterback Tre Roberson looked awfully familiar. Take away the red jersey and put Roberson in Missouri State maroon? "He reminds us of Kierra Harris," Hoffman said, comparing Roberson to the Bears' quarterback.

Republic pulls away from Glendale in second half — Jace Duvall is exhausted this morning. And he's not the only Republic football player feeling that way. But they are all happy. Beset by injuries and with multiple guys playing offense and defense, the Tigers weathered the challenge of facing Glendale's non-stop aerial attack and took a 62-30 victory in Friday's opening round of Class 5 District 5 at Republic.

Pleasant Hope wins softball state semifinal in stunning fashion — Pleasant Hope's Kori Hillenburg stole, and Portageville players will tell you the Pirates are a gang of thieves. Portageville's Savannah Lovins hit a towering shot over the fence in dead center field that appeared to give her team a 2-1 lead in the Class 2 state softball semifinals in the seventh and final inning on Friday - only the umpire said a lead runner failed to touch home plate and was out.

Bolivar extends win streak to seven games — Bolivar's hot streak lives for another week, and now spans seven games. The Liberators scored five touchdowns in the second half to beat the Hillcrest Hornets 59-24 a Class 4 playoff opener Friday night at Plaster Stadium. Sophomore quarterback Connor Sechler accounted for six touchdowns, running for three and passing for three.

Long-time Missouri State coach, associate AD succumbs to cancer — Retired Missouri State associate athletic director and assistant football coach Bill O'Neill died today after a lengthy battle with cancer. O'Neill was 71. The native of Chicago was honored last month at the opening of the renovated Plaster Stadium with the naming of Bill O'Neill Gateway during pre-game ceremonies.