After winning its first home playoff game in school history, the Southwest Covenant football team will take on the No. 1 ranked team in Class C, Pond Creek, at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Patriots come into the game with a 9-2 overall mark on the season after putting a 59-14 beating on Sharon-Mutual in the opening-round of the postseason last Friday at home.
Pond Creek enters the game with a perfect 11-0 record. They have not won by a margin of less than 14 points all season.
“Our mentality is to go have fun and play football,” Southwest Covenant coach Trey Cloud said. “They are a good football team, but so are we.”
Patriot receiver and defensive back Cole Shaw agreed with his coach and added that his team can play with no pressure.
“There is less pressure with this game because we have a lot of momentum right now,” Shaw said. “We are playing really well right now, so we are a confident group.”
Unlike Sharon-Mutual, Pond Creek will try and win the game with their speed and skill positions on the outside.
“They have really good players at the skill positions,” Cloud said. “They want to run the ball, but they want to get out on the edge unlike Sharon-Mutual. It will be a fun challenge for us.”
Shaw said it will be important for his team stay within themselves throughout the game.
“We just need to keep our heads and stay within ourselves,” Shaw said. “If we stick to the game plan and what our coaches tell us to do, I think we will be fine.”
Going into the season, Cloud said he wanted his offense to have more balance rather than just being a passing team. He said they have accomplished that goal.
“We have just been taking what the defense has given us,” Cloud said. “It’s important to be able to do both well and it allows us to attack the defense in multiple ways. We have to know what our reads are and that will allow us to check to plays that we can attack the defense with and we need to stay physical.”
Shaw said he likes where the offense is at this point.
“We can do a lot offensively,” Shaw said. “We have a really good mixture of size and speed and we attack teams in a lot of different ways right now.”
Cloud said he wants his team to maintain their aggressiveness on Friday.
“We want to weather the storm but also get off to a fast start,” Cloud said. “I may make some play calls that are more conservative but I still want my players to go out and be aggressive. I want to hit them in the mouth early and play our game.”
Shaw said the key to having success against Pond Creek on Friday will be having a team-first mentality.
“We need to keep our energy up,” Shaw said. “We all have our jobs to do but we need to do them with a team mentality. We need to understand that we are playing for the guy next to us.”