PARSONS- A berth in the Class A state championship game is on the line today as No. 1 Tucker County will look to remain undefeated on the season as they play host to No. 4 Madonna in semi-final action of the Class A playoffs at R.H. Armstrong Memorial Field at 1:30 p.m.
The winner of this game will move on to the Super Six next Saturday in Wheeling.
"The kids are very excited to still be playing in the playoffs," Tucker County coach A.J. Rapp said. "This has been a goal for us from day one and we are one game away from reaching our goal."
Tucker County hosts Madonna today at 1:30 p.m. at R.H. Armstrong Memorial Field in a semi-final game of the Class A playoffs. The winner moves on to the Super Six in Wheeling next Saturday.
"Anytime you are still playing during Thanksgiving week is always nice," Madonna head coach David Taylor said. "We're excited to be making the trip down to Parsons and playing."
The Mountain Lions (12-0) last played the Blue Dons (11-1) four years ago in the playoffs, defeating Tucker County 48-0.
Tucker County advanced by defeating Clay-Battelle last week 48-14.
The Mountain Lions are led by quarterback Derek Nestor, who has completed 74-of-118 passing for 1624 yards and 20 touchdowns during the regular season. He also has run for 733 yards and seven touchdowns.
"We need Derek to have his best game of the season," Rapp said.
"He leads our offense so we're going to need some big plays from him."
Running back Austin Zirk has rushed for 734 yards and 14 touchdowns, while Mikhail Lewis has rushed for 390 yards and nine touchdowns for the Mountain Lions.
Receivers Tyler Snyder and Nathaniel Goldstein have come up big for the Mountain Lions this season.
Snyder has 556 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, while Snyder has 528 yards and 15 touchdowns during the regular season.
"We're going to have to run our offense like we have all season," Rapp said. "We can't turn the ball over and our offensive line is going to have to step up."
"We can't let their offense be on the field," Taylor said. "They have so many weapons, we're going to have to be ready to play and make some big stops."
Tucker's defense, that has only given up 137 points through the 12 games, is led by all-state linebacker Michael Adkins, who has 107 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions, while Marshall Whisner follows with 64 tackles and six sacks.
The Blue Dons (11-1) advanced to this game by defeating St. Marys 29-14.
Madonna is led by senior quarterback Garrett Hypes and running backs James Fulciniti and Nick Ossman.
Receivers Anthony Antinone and Marcello Biondillo are Hypes' top targets.
"They have a real good quarterback who can throw and run so we're going to have to be ready for him," Rapp said. "Our defense, which has been big all season, is going to have a big game for us."
"We're going to have to be ready for any kind of weather," Taylor said. "We have a couple different types of game plans for Tucker County."