When the Hopkinsville Tigers faced Calloway County earlier this season, the Lakers were without starting quarterback John Foster, but now the senior leader has returned.

Despite Foster's presence, Hoptown coach Craig Clayton doesn't see Calloway's gameplan changing very much.

"We haven't done a lot different," he said of preparing. "They're going to run the same offense pretty much."

Clayton said defensive coordinator Dustin Lopez has seen the talk on social media about how the Lakers are going to try and slow down the Tiger running game, something they weren't able to do in the first matchup.

During Hoptown's 43-0 win on Sept. 27, the Tigers ran for 320 yards and five players scored with Jayden Dillard leading the way as the sophomore had 79 yards and two scores.

"The problem with doing that is you're going to put our receivers in a lot of one-on-one stuff and I don't know if they got the guys to cover our guys," he said. "Even if they do, I still think we can run it. We'll just have to make those adjustments as the game goes on. When you get in the playoffs, you could see something you haven't seen before at all."

Chris Champion is in his second year at the helm of the Lakers and Clayton said they've got some pieces that'll have them prepared for the next couple of seasons.

"They have good looking skill kids and their lineman are kind of young," he said. "I think in the next year or two they'll definitely be better."

Coming into the playoffs, most teams want to be riding high and the Tigers are riding higher than most after their thrilling 17-15 win over Paducah Tilghman to cement their spot atop the district.

Hoptown has six games this season that were decided by two scores or less and Clayton thinks that's prepared his team for the playoffs.

"We've had a lot of tough games at the end of the schedule with Paducah, Madisonville and Logan, three out of our last four or five," he said. "They were tough. It's like a playoff situation. Paducah was a playoff game. If not, we'd be going to Madisonville if we didn't win that game."

The Tiger offense had a tough time clicking last week against the Blue Tornado and Clayton hopes they'll able to get on track today and advance to the second week of the playoffs for the sixth-straight year and the fourth-straight season since Clayton returned to the Hopkinsville sideline.

"I thought we played a little tight," he said. "I hope we loosen up a little bit and just play and have fun. Do everything 100% and just play hard. That's all I really care about."

The Lakers only won one game this season and haven't won a playoff game since 2008 when they went they went 11-3 and made it to the semifinals before falling to Bullitt East, the eventual state runner-up.

Hopkinsville and Calloway County hit the field at 7 p.m. today at the Stadium of Champions.

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