In case you haven’t heard, there will be a pretty big high school football game come Friday night.

Two undefeated teams meet in Cecilia as North Hardin visits Central Hardin.

One team walks out 9-0 and one at 8-1.

The winning team will host the other in Week 2 of the playoffs if they make it that far.

Last year’s 47-7 North Hardin victory snapped a nine-game Central Hardin winning streak.

Both teams are good.

You don’t get to 8-0 by accident.

Both offenses are good.

Both defenses are good.

Both kicking games are good.

I am looking forward to a great high school football game.

I am intrigued by the chess match that lies ahead.

North Hardin’s defense has allowed 68 points, 8.5 per game, fifth-best in the state.

Central Hardin’s offense has scored 373 points, 46.6 per game, sixth-best in the state.

The Bruins are winning by an average of 31.5 points per game, No. 11 in the state.

The Trojans are No. 15 in the state, winning by 29.5 points per game.

Central Hardin’s running game averages 282 years per game.

North Hardin’s defense gives up 43 yards per game.

The Trojans’ passing game is No. 5 in the state and the Bruins’ No. 23.

North Hardin leads the state with 42½ sacks and 18 interceptions.

Bruins senior quarterback Chase Elmore is 73-for-107 (68.2 percent) for 1,766 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He is averaging 24.19 yards per completion.

Trojans sophomore quarterback Manie Wimberly is 92-for-142 (64.8 percent) for 1,573 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. He is averaging 17.09 yards per completion.

Both teams can score from anywhere on the field.

Both teams have an outstanding running game.

You can bet each player on both teams have had this game circled for a while.

You can also bet each coaching staff has preached from Day 1 to only look at what’s ahead and not what’s down the road.

Well, this game is no longer down the road.

It’s here.

And thank goodness the Central Hardin parking lot is really big.

It should be full long before game time.

These games don’t come around very often — No. 3 in Class 6-A vs. No. 4.

After Friday night’s win at Meade County, Elmore said, “We’re taking it one game at a time and now we get the fun one.”

The fun one?


This is a game you want to be in.

This is a game you relish.

I promise you these plays would much rather be in this type of game than a blowout that had the running clock going early.

I’m not saying players don’t like those games, but they don’t like a lot of them.

Players like to be challenged.

Players like to look across the line of scrimmage and know it will take their best to beat the other guy.

Players don’t mind a pushover here or there.

But, this is another level of fun.

Competitors want to compete against the best.

They want to lay it all on the line.

They want each snap to count.

Not that others don’t, but you get the idea.

This will be a game where players, coaches and officials will make a mistake or two because it’s sports, it’s life and that’s what happens.

But, what happens after that mistake?

This will be a game full of adjustments.

Both staffs will coach their players on how to defend this, block that, recognize this or shift into that.

Both teams will employ game plans to win, not fail.

Emotions will be high all over the stadium.

Enjoy the night.

Enjoy a great high school football game.

Enjoy watching two undefeated teams littered with great athletes compete.

Enjoy the show.

Mike Mathison can be reached at 270-505-1758 or

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