Sandwiched between two big contests, the Catholic High Crusaders find themselves in the proverbial trap game tonight against the Washington Wildcats.
The Crusaders (6-3) are coming off a tough 16-15 road loss to the Pace Patriots last week. Next week, the Crusaders open the Region 1-3A playoffs at Trinity Christian in Jacksonville.
The last thing Catholic coach Greg Seibert wants to do this week is take a step back heading into the state playoffs.
"Without sounding cliché, you play to win the game," Seibert said. "There's really not any other way to approach it. If you approach it any differently, you disrespect your opponent and you discredit your own team."
The Crusaders are taking on a Washington team looking to go into coach Craig Laborde's first offseason with a little momentum. Laborde took over the team in the middle of June after former coach Mike Smith's sudden resignation.
The Wildcats have struggled to put it together this year, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous.
"I see a team that's headed in the right direction, coming off of last week," Seibert said. "I would say they're searching for a little bit of an identity. They're a team in transition. For Coach Laborde to come in at the point he came in, he's done as good a job as you can ask anyone.
"They're athletic. Please don't let anybody fool you. They can run and when you're athletic and you have a little bit of speed, you can build a defense around that."
Normally, that would be a recipe for disaster, especially considering the fact that Catholic has a much bigger game ahead of it next week. But Seibert said the players have been focused on the process this year and said his players have done a good job of focusing on the task at hand this week.
"I think the most important thing to do is remain within your routine," Seibert said. "If you alter that too drastically, you can run into some problems.
"If we execute and do what we're supposed to, we should have a chance to be successful."