"Not only is it a conference championship, it's Savannah-Maryville. It's always a big game," Savage quarterback Dalton Duane said.
There's no love lost between the two towns separated by just 30 miles. While no one will admit to overlooking teams in past weeks, both squads have had this Friday circled on the calendar all season long.
"Maryville-Savannah, that's been a rivalry for a very long time," Spoofhound head coach Matt Webb said. "This is why you go through weights in the summer, and you go through winter workouts out there flipping tires in the cold, and you get up early in the mornings and come do the conditioning. It's for weeks like this."
The series heads back to Maryville for the first time since 2010 when the Savages won big over the 'Hounds. Savannah's hoping to repeat that performance against the number one team in Class 3.
"I think back to the last time we were there we beat them. I think it was 47-7 or 42-7. Our defense played outstanding that game," Savannah head coach Chad Smith said. "It was a great feeling going up there and doing that in their own place, and we're hoping that we can do something like that again."
Friday's matchup features quarterbacks taking their first snaps in the rivalry game.
Maryville's Trent Nally has found a rhythm under center leading the Spoofhounds to an offensive breakout in their 50-10 win over Smithville in week seven.
"I felt Trent was a little skittish in the first few games," Maryville senior offensive lineman Jackson Morrison said. "I think now that he's settled in, he has his confidence and I think Trent's ready to go now."
Savannah's turned to dual-threat quarterback Dalton Duane who has led Savannah on a five-game win streak, including last week's win over Chillicothe.
"Last week was a big booster, especially coming out that second half," Duane said. "I think we're ready, and it's exciting because it's Maryville week."
Both the Savages and Spoofhounds are ready for Friday, because a lot more than a conference title is up for grabs.
"I have a lot of respect for them, but at the same time it's a rival," Webb said. "Everybody in Maryville doesn't like Savannah, and Savannah doesn't like Maryville. It's going to be a lot of fun Friday night."
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