Scotland County and Knox County enter their second match-up of the season in similar places overall, but coming in off two very different feelings.
Last week the Tigers traveled to Milan with hopes of knocking off the Wildcats. After jumping out 6-0, the Tigers saw Milan run off 34 unanswered points in a 34-6 win. Playing a huge factor in that game was the missing presence of fullback Will McRoberts, who is going to be a game time decision for Friday night.
Knox County had the almost exact opposite game last week against Putnam County. The Midgets jumped out 12-0 and took the two score lead to the break. KC came out and ran off 24 straight points in a 24-12 win. KC who is also dealing with injuries got improved performance from Donovan Edwards and his gimpy hamstring.
Entering the Week 7 match-up the Eagles and Tigers are only separated by that thrilling Week 2 win by Scotland County. Where the two teams go from here will be key to their seasons.
“A win last week got us going in the direction we want to be in heading into the conference and district schedule. We will have to continue to improve to be where we want to be at the end of the year,” said Knox County head coach Alex VanDelft.
Scotland is looking to move on and use KC to get over what happened against Milan.
“It was a tough loss. We came in knowing we could compete with them. Our kids are good about moving on to the next week and getting better,” said Scotland County head coach Daniel Burns.
Having had so much success against a team once already, the Tigers are ready to take their shots at KC again.
“It will be at their place this time, and this is the game that matters. That being said we had success last time, so we are confident and know we can beat them, so we have to practice well and show up and play,” said Burns.
Although the Eagles dropped the first meeting it wasn’t like they didn’t have their chances.
“We are excited to get another chance to play Scotland, but do so in the understanding that Scotland is one of the best teams in the conference. Knox vs. Scotland is always a good game. It is going to come down to who can make and stop the big play,” said VanDelft.
Three of the last five meetings between the two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less.
“Scotland and Knox are two teams that are about as evenly matched as there can be, meaning it could be the last drive of the game that decides the winner. Last time we played it came down to an interception we threw on the last possession of the game. Hopefully we have learned from mistakes we have made in close games this year and will be able to execute a better,” said VanDelft.
Burns is looking for his defense to make the needed adjustments to keep SC in the game again.
“We moved the ball the whole game, so we will add some stuff here and there, but for the most part offensively it's about execution. Defensively we will have to make adjustments because they moved the ball and scored a lot of points on us,” said Burns.
A win by the Eagles would draw them into a second place tie with the Tigers, and they would hold the tiebreaker. An SC win would all but assure the Tigers of a second place finish in the TRC.