For Etowah, a win would keep its bid to make the playoffs for the seventh straight year alive.
Only one thing is for sure — of the two teams, one will leave their Region 5AAAAAA clash disappointed.
After winning their first nine games this season and cementing the region title, Lassiter (9-0, 6-0) will have to overcome an Etowah (4-5, 3-4) squad that has defeated the Trojans two years running.
Lassiter coach Jep Irwin still remembers the 17-14 defeat that the Eagles (4-5, 3-4) handed the Trojans last year, and believes that for his team to emerge victorious tonight, they will have to avoid a repeat performance.
“The last two years, they have slowed us down on offense by using multiple fronts. They did a good job of mixing up their coverage’s and were very physical up front,” Irwin said. “Our offensive line hasn’t been able to block well against them the last two years, and if that happens again this year, it’s going to be difficult to score.”
While a loss wouldn’t affect Lassiter’s seeding in the playoffs, or it winning the region title, Irwin wants his team to enter the postseason filled with confidence from a perfect regular season.
“There are only 16 teams right now in the state that are undefeated, and we could be one of them. It would be a huge accomplishment for our kids,” Irwin said. “We want an unblemished slate going into the playoffs. We don’t want to finish with the same record as Walton and have to use the tie-breaker to win the region. We want win it out right.”
But to do that, Irwin said that they would have to defeat an Etowah team that is much better than its record indicates.
“When I watch them, I see a sound football team that could have a much better record than the one they have now,” Irwin said.
Though Irwin and the Trojans could use the game to rest up for the postseason, he said that he has no plans of doing so.
“We are going to play to win,” Irwin said. “We want to finish the season 10-0.”