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Nobody is making excuses.
Nobody is pointing fingers.
Nobody associated with Staunton River's football program is anything but disappointed with how the team's record has turned out. There is disappointment, particularly after the brilliant performance that the Eagles had last week against William Byrd.
All of that "Woulda, shoulda, coulda," however, doesn't mean the team can't end its season on a high note.
Remember, we said there is disappointment in the record, not necessarily with the Rivermen's season.
The Golden Eagles, post-season entrants the past three years, will see that season come to a surprisingly early end this Friday evening - the victim of a tough schedule and even rougher injuries to key players. The final curtain call will come in front of the home fans in a tilt against Alleghany.
The Mountaineers are in the same boat as the Eagles, as neither has a shot at the playoffs. So, both will be playing for the following:
-The pride that comes from ending the season on a winning note.
-The pride that the seniors can take away from ending their careers with a W.
-The pride that comes from avoiding finishing in the basement of the Blue Ridge.
"It's important for our program to win this game," remarked Head Coach Chuck Poston. "A two-game win streak (to close the season) would move the program forward and show the community that we're a good football program."
Of course, ending the season on a high note would likely translate into a higher level of enthusiasm from those thinking about playing next year. And we all know that enthusiasm translates into time in the weight room.
Well, a win won't be easy here. Alleghany is a team that is either hot as a two-dollar pistol or cold as an Eskimo's headstone.
To wit, after losing to William Byrd, 48-0, the 'Neers came within two points of Rockbridge County. Last weekend, they took Lord Bot to overtime before dropping a heartbreaker.
Alleghany spreads the field and throws the ball all over the place. Quarterback Nick Ferell is really hitting a groove in his first year as the starter.
Poston's plan is simple: muscle up and come at the 'Neers. He has history on his side: The Eagles rushed for over 500 yards in each of their last two wins over Alleghany.
"We have got to control the line of scrimmage," declared Poston, when asked what will be key here. "We need to limit their possessions."
To do that, look for more tough calls like the fourth-and-short decisions to go for it against Byrd.
With both teams playing for pride, look for a lot of aggressive calls and top-notch play.