LOVELADY, TX (KTRE) - Lovelady has a chance at a three-peat for the district title Friday night, while an undefeated Groveton team has a chance to take the crown outright for the first time in nine years if they get the win.
For the Lions, the final district game is more than about championships and playoff seeding, it's also about community pride and some serious bragging rights.
"We're pretty hungry not only to get the district title but some bragging rights as well," said linebacker and receiver Petey Little.
"They think they're going to win. We just have to play our game and let it unfold on the field," said running back and safety Ethan Campbell.
26 miles is all the separates Lovelady from Groveton. Most nights they're just friendly neighboring towns- that won't be the case come Friday.
"I know most the guys from Groveton. We've been trash talking a little bit about the game, but I think it's going to come down to the end," said linebacker and receiver Hunter Murray.
Winning district titles has become habit for Lovelady as they're on the prowl to 3-peat and take a piece of the district title away from Groveton.
"The expectations are pretty high. We don't settle for anything less than district champs," said Murray.
The number 10 will be resonating in the back of the Lion's minds. After a run all the way to the state semifinals last year, a 10-point win would land them a No. 1 seed entering the playoffs.
"We're going to come out looking at the 10-point deficit and we're going to go for that and even more," said Campbell.
"It shouldn't be too hard for us. We just got to execute, move the ball well and get into the end zone," said quarterback Lee Holsey. "We want to win it big time, but we just want to treat it like any other game and execute our plays."
Averaging over 34 points a game, finding the end zone has never been tough for Lovelady. They've even offset the blow of losing an all-state running back last year by letting the pigskin fly more.
"This year we have more balance. We can run the ball as well as throw it on some good defensive teams," said Little.
Like Groveton, Lovelady also has three shutouts on the year and this game will be determined by nothing short of all four quarters.
"We're really confident. I think we have a good chance to win," said Murray. "We're just going to have to play our hardest. They're a good team, we're a good team. I think it will be a good game."
"We're going to fight it out. Any way it goes, we never give up," said Campbell.
This game will be in Lovelady, Friday night starting at 7:30 p.m.
If Lovelady wins, it will be a three-way-tie for the district title between the Lions, Groveton and Centerville.