Friday night at Sidney, Mechanicsburg will take on Marion Local for the second consecutive season in the Division VI, Region 24 football final.
The Indians lost last season’s contest, 9-7. It was a packed crowd for a low-scoring game where yards were critical and hard to come by.
“We have a lot of kids that have been on a lot of big stages,” MHS Coach Kurt Forrest said. “We understand how good Marion Local is, and we know what the environment is going to be like.
“You look at some of the things they have going for them. They have 85 kids (on the roster) – that’s a testament to the school and the community. They’re a foot taller than most of the kids across the board – you can thank their genetics for that.”
The Flyers also boast five consecutive trips to the state championship game and a 7-0 record over M’burg in the postseason.
Still, the Indians won’t back down from the rematch on Friday at Sidney’s Memorial Stadium.
“That’s why you compete. This is why you play athletics,” Forrest said. “You’re a competitor. This is why you do it. It’s not ‘can we?’ It’s ‘will we?’ It’s holding ourselves to that standard and trying to get the job done.”
Mechanicsburg enters the game undefeated at 12-0, with Marion Local at 11-1 – its lone loss to Division V Coldwater, which is on a tear of its own and will play for a regional title on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a championship-caliber football game, no doubt in my mind,” Forrest said, noting he thinks the squads are two of the best four left. “When we look at Marion Local, we have a ton of respect for how good they are and what they’ve accomplished. But we’re playing the 2016 Marion Local Flyers on Friday. Our kids don’t care who lines up across from them.”
Pre-sale tickets for Friday’s game are available at Mechanicsburg High School.