Eisenhower and Goddard have already clinched berths in the Class 5A football postseason.
But don’t think either team will be resting its top players in anticipation of the playoffs. Too much is riding on this game.
It’s an in-town rivalry for the two Goddard schools.
A district title is on the line.
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And Eisenhower has a chance, with the win, to tie for an AV-CTL II title.
“What else would you want?” Eisenhower coach Marc Marinelli said. “Where else would you want to be, when you’re playing a rival with a chance to do what we always wanted to do and hang a banner?”
Goddard’s anticipation for the matchup is also high.
“It’s pretty awesome, especially where we’ve come from,” Goddard coach Scott Vang said. “At one time we were 1-3 and now we’re 5-3 and we’re able to go play Eisenhower for a district championship to host next week (in the first round of the playoffs).”
It’s still a young rivalry between the two schools. Eisenhower started playing football in 2012 and won five games in its first three seasons.
Goddard won 18 games from 2008-14 and went to the playoffs three times.
Both teams have made strides. Eisenhower opened the season at 2-3, winning its last three games by a combined 46 points.
Goddard started 1-3 but its losses were by a combined 17 points. Goddard has outscored its last two opponents 109-21.
Eisenhower’s progression has included the increased play of fullback Addison Logan, which has freed up Joseph Weibel (773 rushing yards) to play more at linebacker. Quarterback Mason Madzey has 675 passing yards and 444 rushing.
“It’s been a simple equation,” Marinelli said. “It took a lot of hard work. Nothing fancy or special about it. We just worked extremely hard to get better and to go forward.”
For Goddard, quarterback Blake Sullivan has 1,162 passing yards and 795 rushing. But the real improvement has been defensively with the Lions holding five of their last six opponents under 100 rushing yards.
“We’re talented, but we cannot overlook anybody,” Vang said. “We have to show up and play well and practice well every week. If we don’t do that, we’re in trouble.”
AV-CTL II title chase — An uneven number of league games has a school’s athletic director contemplating an offer to give up sole possession of a league football title.
Eisenhower, Andover Central and Maize South are tied at the top at 4-1 in AV-CTL II, but only Eisenhower’s final game is a league game. Winning percentage determines the league champ.
Eisenhower athletic director Curtis Conrad said that if Eisenhower beats Goddard, making the Tigers 5-1 and a half-game ahead of the other two 4-1 teams, he would propose at the next league meeting that all three schools should be recognized as league champs. Conrad said he doesn’t consider it fair for Eisenhower to win the league title because the Tigers played one more league game.