EARLY — Pisgah football’s Cain Early runs upfield during a home win over Franklin last season.

Coming off a tough loss at home against Hendersonville, the Pisgah football team will look to stay in the playoff hunt this Friday at Franklin.

While the Bears’ mantra in this abbreviated season has been “win or go home,” because the Mountain Six conference has remained so tight with Brevard being the only undefeated team, that isn’t quite true. If Pisgah (4-1, 2-1) can win this weekend at Franklin (3-2, 2-1) and next weekend on the road against the Blue Devils, the team will at least earn a share of the conference title and likely a playoff berth.

“If you look at the games remaining, we’ve got to win out to give ourselves a chance to be where we want to be,” said head coach Brett Chappell. “This week will be an elimination game. Whoever loses this game will definitely be out of the conference championship picture and playoff picture.”

While last week’s loss may have been a tough pill to swallow, Chappell said his players seem to have moved on and reset their focus.

“It certainly made for a long weekend,” he said. “But getting in here and seeing the kids Monday, we saw that they’re ready. Kids can be more resilient than adults when it comes to some of these things.”

Chappell said he expects to see a well-coached Franklin team that could create some problems. After all, the Panthers did beat Hendersonville earlier this year. To add to that challenge, Franklin is known as one of the toughest places to play in Western North Carolina.

“They really do a good job of building up playing at home,” he said. “That’s something they’ve done for years. It’s a special place for them to have their home games … It’s a mind-set thing, though. I honestly get just as excited about playing there as I do at home.”

Kickoff at Franklin is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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