WCIA — We’re down to seven high school football teams left in our coverage area. Two of them face off against each other in a semifinal rematch of last season. Maroa-Forsyth visits Shelbyville for a trip to DeKalb. Annice McEwan talked with both schools ahead of the matchup.
A semifinal football game has enough implications on it’s own. But add in a rematch, and it’s game on.
“I think it’s good for us and our guys to have that opportunity to maybe get revenge, I guess you could, so to say,” Shelbyville head coach Bill Duckett said.
Shelbyville’s season came to end last year in the Class 2A semifinals when the Rams fell to the Trojans 48-8 in Maroa.
“We know last year wasn’t a good game,” Shelbyville quarterback Turner Pullen said. “We didn’t come ready to play but hopefully this year is a completely different story, and we come out there and get a win.”
As a ten-seed last year, Shelbyville was an underdog heading into the playoffs. Just happy to make it to the 2016 final four, the Rams say that won’t be enough this year.
“Since us guys are seniors, we know it’s our last shot,” Pullen added. “I mean, it could be our last play. So, we’ve got to make the most of it.”
As for Maroa-Forsyth, the Trojans aren’t taking Saturday’s matchup lightly either.
“It’s been a little bit of a rivalry between our schools and these classes,” Trojans head coach Josh Jostes explained. “We’re looking forward to it.”
“It’s going to be a big game, a big atmosphere,” Maroa-Forsyth running back Deondre Gregory described. “After this one, you punch your ticket to DeKalb.”
And as for another 40-point game? Well, neither team is expecting that.
“It’s definitely going to be more competitive, being the fact that we knocked them out of the chance to get a state championship last year,” Gregory added. “And we don’t get to play each other as much. This is our only chance to play each other.”
“I’ve watched last year’s once or twice but, I mean, we know they’re going to come ready to play and we’ve just got to have a good week of practice and get everybody focused in on the game,” Pullen said. “It should be a good one.”
The Rams and Trojans kick it off Saturday at 1:30 in Shelbyville.