CENTERBURG — The Killbuck Savings Bank Game of the Week this week is a home-town rivalry: Highland (3-4) vs. Centerburg (4-3). Kickoff Friday at Centerburg is 7 p.m.

The two teams are both excited to play this game and are going to approach this as an important game against a rival team. Centerburg has a bit more on the line with this game being their senior night, but both teams realize the implications of this being a game that is both historic and rivaled.

When asked about the importance of this rivalry game to him, Highland head coach Matt Jones said, “Every game that we play is important to us.”

The Scots not only feel prepared for this game, but they are also excited about the prospect of facing a rivaled team in a game that is usually highly competitive.

“We are expecting a hard-fought game,” said Coach Jones. “Centerburg is a very well-coached team. Every year, this is a hard-fought game. We are excited for the opportunity to compete against a very good team.”

Jones also spoke about keys to his team being successful on Friday night against the Trojans. He said: “Not turning the ball over and limiting our mistakes on offense and defense (are the keys to a successful game).”

Centerburg Coach Andrew Colella also spoke about the importance of this game to his team and what this rivalry means to the Highland seniors who are going to be playing the last home game of their senior careers.

“The next game is always important for us. That’s the way we try to approach every week,” Colella said. “Most importantly, it’s our senior night. Our seven seniors have meant and done a great deal for our program, so we want to make sure we send them out the correct way with it being the last game on their home field.”

The Trojans understand that this rivalry game is going to be against an opponent that will be both competitive and physical.

“They’ve been on a roll the last few weeks,” said Colella. “So, they’re coming into this week with some momentum. Highland teams are always physical and run the ball well. It won’t be much different on Friday. For sure, it’s a backyard rivalry that our kids are excited to play in. It’s an opportunity for the two communities to get together and support their schools and young people.”

Colella also spoke about the keys to a successful game against the Scots and the methods in which his team will use to potentially gain a victory over their rivals.

“We must play within ourselves consistently. We’ve played really well in spurts, but have to be able to maintain a high level of efficiency and execution consistently for four quarters,” he said.

News file photo Highland’s Gavin Hankins (23) eludes a Fredericktown defender during a game earlier this season. Hankins and the Scots will travel to Centerburg this Friday for a key Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference game at 7 p.m.


Cody Strawser: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews




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