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When Jefferson Forest and E.C. Glass played earlier this season, the Black and Blue trophy was on the line.
This time, the reward won't be as tangible, but it will be more valuable: a trip to the Region III (Division 4) semifinal).
Jeff Forest's Sabre Stadium will relight the lamps Friday night as the resurgent Glaziers will roll into town. It's a rematch from the teams' Oct. 5 tilt. That won turned into a convincing Jefferson Forest victory at City Stadium: 42-6.
Since then, the two teams have struggled. Glass has lost three straight - to Liberty, Amherst and Heritage. During that stretch, the Hilltoppers have managed to post a total of only 35 points.
When you account for the fact that all 35 of those points came against Liberty, what you have is a team that has been shut out for its last eight quarters of football.
On the other hand, scoring has not been the major problem for Jefferson Forest. The big issue is the scoring that has been amassed against the Cavs.
In fact, since topping the Toppers, JF has surrendered 205 points in its subsequent four losses. That's an average of 51 points per game. For the season, the Cavs have yielded 382 total points (38.2 per game).
The good news? JF's finest defensive effort of the season came against these same Hilltoppers.
The bad news? That comes in two forms. The first is that the Glaziers have revamped their offense since last JF saw them. The fast, strong and agile Donnie Morgan is now calling signals.
The second is that Glass seems to have learned a thing or two about defense, as seen in its 6-0 loss last weekend to high-flying Seminole District champ Heritage.
We think this one will come down to which team can best handle the mental aspects.
Glass has to deal with the fact that it was roughly manhandled by JF in their regular season meeting.
The Hilltoppers have also not won a lot: They have but four wins this season and are riding a five-game losing streak.
JF has much to overcome as well, with Glass its only victory in its last six games.
If the Cavs can overcome the mental side of things and focus on their fundamentals, the game should be theirs.
The winner of this tilt will go on to play at top-seeded Amherst.