Fairmont vs. St. Pauls. The battle of the unbeatens. "The Brawl For It All."
Fairmont coach Keith Wood and St. Pauls coach Trey Sasser know the implications. Win and the Three Rivers Conference title is yours along with a high seed in the postseason. Lose and your playoff destiny becomes a crap shoot.
"I think it's a big game for the program," Wood said. "No one can remember the last Fairmont team that won a conference outright. It's a big step for our program."
It may be the only time this week Sasser agrees with his counterpart.
"For both teams, this is very important," Sasser said. "The seeding is very important because it gives you at least one home game."
Unlike other schools that will have to do a lot of scoreboard watching to figure out where they will stand before the release of the playoff brackets Saturday, the Golden Tornadoes and the Bulldogs will at least know part of their fate.
"Neither team has to rely on anybody else because whoever wins will deserve the No. 1 seed," Sasser said. "They will be undefeated which is very special. You are the conference champions, the top seed and you get a home game. Lose and it's the unknown."
Both teams faced the dreaded trap game last week when it would have been easy for Fairmont to overlook East Columbus and St. Pauls to not be completely focused on West Columbus.
However, the Golden Tornadoes and the Bulldogs had those games circled on the calendar. Last season, Fairmont split the TRC regular season title with East Columbus and wanted to make sure the Gators were not in a position to repeat.
"Last week I was scared of the matchups," Wood said. "I also get scared when teams line up and run it right at us. I like the matchups this week."
For St. Pauls, it was a chance to gain some revenge as the Vikings rolled to a 21-6 win last year. And the Bulldogs can continue to earn some payback after the Golden Tornadoes' 39-15 rout at home last year.
"We had planned on being in this position," Sasser said. "We got to conference, we said we would take it one game at a time and see where it puts us at the end. Our goal was to win the conference. I think everyone's goal is to do that."