Two weeks ago, the Trigg County Wildcats fought through the rain to defeat the Union County Braves 33-7 at Perdue Field, but they'll have to take down the Braves again if they want to advance to the second round of the KHSAA Class 3A State Playoffs.
Wildcats' head coach Coby Lewis said he doesn't want his kids to put too much stock in that game as they prepare for the Braves to kick off the playoffs Friday.
"It's one of those things with the way they're built, and the way we're built that weather would have benefited them more than it did us," Lewis said. "They had a couple of drives that were stopped by fumbled exchanges, which allowed us to gain some momentum.
"I've been trying to convince our kids that the wet ball didn't affect us as much as it affected them … We're going to have to make sure that we're ready to go and realize that the first game is no indicator of the outcome of the second game … I think both teams are pretty evenly matched in some spots," he said. "We tend to throw it a little bit better, they tend to run it a little bit better. This game will be independent of that game."
Lewis said after the win over the Braves two weeks ago, he was going to need to get his team to look at the film in a way they wouldn't let the win get to their heads. He himself said he had to view it a bit differently.
"I've tried to watch that film the first couple of times I've watched it from the perspective of Union," Lewis said. "What I've seen is their drives stall out because they fumbled the football. I've seen them doing things that probably was uncharacteristic of them to do.
"We've got to be smart enough to know it was a 7-7 game at the half. We kind of broke loose late. We did that because we played good defense. We've got to get back to playing good defense."
The defense will be important for Trigg on Friday. After shutting down a run-first team like Union County, the Wildcats followed that up by letting Caldwell County's DeEric Hollowell roll through their defense.
Lewis said getting the defense off the field and letting the offense go to work will be big in the game.
"They're going to try to eat that clock up and you've got to get them off the field," Lewis said. "If you don't you're possessions are going to be limited. It's hard to score points when your possessions are limited. It's very important we get them off the field."
A big bright spot has been the resurgence of the Trigg County offense as well. After averaging 16 points per game in its three-straight losses, it has closed the season averaging 49.3 PPG to close the season.
"I'm not sure that people are aware that we took on so many injuries midway through the season," Lewis said. "After the Crittenden game, we had 13 kids that were banged up in some form or fashion. It's one of those things we're finally back to healthy.
"I feel like we're a lot more balanced right now. Throwing the ball a lot better than we were earlier and just playing a lot better offensively. It's one of those things we need to keep our mojo with what we've got."
The growth of the Trigg County football program means a lot to Lewis. He said he hopes his team -- specifically he seniors -- can continue to leave a legacy in Cadiz.
"We've talked all season about leaving it better than you found it," he said. "When these guys came in as freshmen, we didn't even make it in the playoffs. The last two years we went to E-Town on the road. You're not playing E-Town on the road and you're in the playoffs so we've made some advancements. Now how much advancement we want to make is what we've been talking to these guys about. Having the chance to play for the district championship next week would be outstanding."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Perdue Field.