Pisgah football is looking to be playoff bound no matter what, but a win Friday over current conference leader Brevard could seal the deal on a share of the Mountain Six championship.
While the Blue Devils enter the game with a 4-0 conference record, the Bears are one of two teams with a 3-1 conference record. Last week, Brevard took home a narrow 20-14 win at Hendersonville while Pisgah dominated Franklin at home, winning 41-7.
If Pisgah and Smoky Mountain both win, then those two teams and Brevard will have a three-way share of the conference title and there will be a drawing to see how the teams are seeded in the playoffs; if Pisgah wins and Smoky Mountain loses, the Bears and the Blue Devils will have a share of the title and Pisgah will get the better playoff seeding. If Pisgah loses, it will automatically fall to third in the conference.
“We’re more than likely going to travel for the playoffs if that happens,” head coach Brett Chappell said of the latter scenario.
Chappell said he upped the intensity during practice in the week prior to the huge win over Franklin, and he added that he continued that trend this week.
“I thought it was important, especially at the end of the season that we put everything out there so we can be at our best coming into the end of the season,” he said.
“This is something you work for all offseason, a championship.” he added. “This is what you prepare for.”
In three of the last four seasons, Pisgah’s final regular season game against Brevard has been for a conference championship. Chappell said this year’s game will likely be a thriller. Although the Blue Devils lost some talent on the offensive side of the ball, he noted that the team’s defense only lost a couple players. While Pisgah has given up a staunch 11 points per game this year, Brevard has only given up about eight points per game.
“In my opinion, I think they’re quite a bit better defensively this year than they were last year,” Chappell said.
Along with having conference championship and state playoff implications, Friday’s game — which will likely be played in sub-freezing temperatures — will also be senior night, which means players, cheerleaders and band members who are set to graduate will be honored.
“It’s really neat to see this for our seniors after seeing how hard they’ve worked,” Chappell said of the opportunity to play for a championship. “To still have everything on the line at the end of the season was a goal of ours.”
“We talked to them about walking across the bridge for the last time if we don’t get a home playoff game, so that’s starting to set in,” he added.
Chappell also made sure to remind people that the ceremony will also recognize the families of these athletes and band members.
“A lot of sacrifices are made for these kids, so it’s nice to recognize them and their families,” he said.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Pisgah Memorial Stadium.