It all comes down to one game for first-year Doddridge County head football coach Bobby Burnside's Bulldogs.
Yes, the Bulldogs (6-3) can still make the Class A playoffs with a record of 6-4, but the only way to make sure DCHS reaches the postseason is to knock off St Marys on senior night Friday evening in West Union.
Head coach Jodi Mote's Blue Devils (8-1) have won seven straight and are looking to secure perhaps multiple home playoff games with a victory. However, that's going to be anything but easy as attrition has finally hit St. Marys, which got roughed up in its 56-29 home win last week versus Ravenswood.
"We played hard and I guess the biggest down side to all of it is we had a bunch of kids banged up," said Mote, who noted his team has been healthy pretty much all season. "We have a bunch of injuries to deal with.
"It was a physical game. That's the most frustrating part. We're not going to match Doddridge's size. We have to try and match their effort and enthusiasm because they are going to be playing hard to try and get in the playoffs. We're going to have to have some kids step up."
With help from several teams, coach Burnside knows there's a chance his Bulldodgs could manage a proverbial back door entry into the field of 16. Needless to say, they aren't counting on that and fully understand Friday's game is a pretty much a must win.
"We're treating it that if we want to keep playing we have to win," said Burnside, who went to Imlay Field to watch the Ravenswood game during the Bulldogs' off week.
"We're going to emphasize not turning the ball over and to play as hard as we can on every play. If we do that it can be a competitive game."
Coach Mote would rather be entering the final week of the season under different circumstances, but he knows what his team is going to be up against. "From what I've seen on film they are big and are going to try and run right at you," he said.
While some might not have expected this to be a playoff season for the Bulldogs this year, they completely understand they control their own destiny.
"St. Marys is very physical and they are playing some good football right now," Burnside added. "I don't think we can afford to fumble the ball and turn the ball over. We're going to have to play good football."