Friday, October 12, 2018

Come one, come all; Metamora Football squaring off with rival Washington on Friday

Germantown Hills, Ill. - It's Metamora. It's Washington. It's the most intense rivalry in the Mid-Illini, and one of the most intense in all of Illinois, even making the 'honorable mention' portion of a list for Top Rivalries in Illinois High School Football on NBC Sports Chicago last season. Essentially, we don't even need to write this. You know where you need to be Friday night, and that's Metamora's Malone Field.

This rivalry has always been a heated one, but the one thing that may strike some people is that the home team has won every matchup since a 2012 playoff meeting between the two, a game that went Washington's way at Metamora, 19-14.

Metamora is (8-1) at home against Washington since 2004. On average, still since that 2004 season, Metamora is out-scoring Washington, 26.1 to 14.6.

Number crunching can do one thing, or we can simply tell you that this is for the conference title. It's #6 versus #1.

One thing that both coaches have certainly agreed on is something that seems to be the case when Metamora and Washington meet up across all sports, and that's tossing the records out the window. Thankfully, both of these teams are (7-0), so they're playing with equivalent records, and that saying may just be negated. In other words, if one was (0-7) and the other was (7-0), it wouldn't matter. This game is just that big.

The Redbirds are coming off of a 49-21 win over Morton, while Washington is coming off of a 65-0 win over Canton.

The big game kicks off at 7:30 pm (approximately) from Metamora.

- Malone Field bleacher-only capacity: 3,650
- Admission | Seniors (w/ conference pass) are free, MTHS students w/ ID are free, Adults $4, Children $2
- Gates | Open at 4:15 pm

They Said It | HC Pat Ryan
On what makes the rivalry so big
Well, I mean, the history of the games. There's good tradition among both programs. The proximity of the communities. The fact that the kids all know each other. You do know who they are, they know who you are. There's a lot of interaction between the two communities.
We have people graduating from Metamora living in Washington, there's people from Washington living in Metamora. Everybody knows everybody.

On practices this week
Our tempo's been good. It's important that we ironed out everything we could iron out this week. The important thing is that you don't want to change too much at this point. We've won some games doing it the way we're doing it. We can't have a lot of penalties. We try to minimize the big plays. Defensively, we've got to be in the right spot. This is a playoff-type game.

On potential Mid-Illini Title with a W
One of the things is, winning a conference title is a big deal, but in 2009 we didn't win a conference championship but we won a state championship. The conference championship's icing on the cake.

On preparing for Washington playbook-wise
We've had to utilize everyone all along. We are who we are. We've utilized all our receivers, we've utilized all our running backs. We've tried to build depth through the season. We weren't in a position to hold anything back. I think this is maybe the fourth game we've been predicted to lose We've been dealing with the same stuff all year.

On Washington holding back versus Metamora not
For us, it's ok. We don't have to ask a kid to do something he hasn't done all year. The thing is with them (Washington), they have so many seasoned veterans. Defensively, they're just rock-solid. They don't have to do a whole lot.

On what a win would mean
The bottom line is, they're recognized as the best. We get to gauge ourselves about where we're at right now against the best. It'll be a good barometer for us as far as what our chances are going to be down the road.

On what keeps him excited about this game year after year
It'll just be the atmosphere. You live a little vicariously through the kids. It's a big night. Both schools, both communities. It's just neat. I appreciate that because what I try to tell our guys is I played college football with guys who played at schools where they would've died to play one game in front of a crowd like we're gonna have on Friday night. We need to appreciate that. It's been a good rivalry.

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