The past two seasons, the Pisgah football team entered Week 9 needing a win to work its way into a playoff tiebreaker that it ultimately won both seasons.
But the Eagles’ path to the postseason entering Week 9 of the 2020 season is a simple one: win and they’re in.
Pisgah goes on the road Friday at 7 p.m. to take on Tanner in the Class 2A Region 7 finale for both teams. The winner will be the Region 7’s No. 4-seed in the Class 2A state playoffs.
“With all we’ve been through, if you’d told me we’d have a one-game chance to get in, I’d take it,” said Pisgah head coach Luke Pruitt.
It’s just the second ever meeting between the Eagles and Rattlers. In their only previous meeting, Pisgah defeated Tanner 49-20 in the opening round of the 2002 Class 2A playoffs.
A win would give Pisgah (2-6, 2-3) its third consecutive playoff berth, a feat last accomplished by the program since making four straight playoff appearances from 2000-03.
“That’s something that has been done in a while here and I think it would show the kids to keep working hard that we’re heading in the right direction,” Pruitt said. “Getting in the playoffs, you never know what would happen. Getting in the playoffs is a positive all round for (the program).”
Tanner (4-4, 2-3), a longtime playoff staple who won state championships in 2012 and 2013, is looking to return to the postseason for the first time in three seasons.
The Rattlers enter the game following a bye week, a week to get over a 62-0 loss to region co-leader Falkville. Tanner is averaging 20.6 points per game while allowing 31.6.
“They’re a young team like we are but have No. 3 (Evan Fuqua) and No. 7 (Michael Guster) who are explosive players and are seniors,” Pruitt said. “They’re athletic. We’ve got to limit the big plays and win the turnover battle.”