The undefeated Hornets of Lake High School are generating a buzz around "death valley" that hasn't been felt in 20 years.
"It was back in 1993," said Head Coach Jeff Breland. "The community's extremely excited. Our guys... we're trying to stay humble, and take in one week at a time, and I think that's what's helped us stay the course throughout the year."
But even the '93 Hornets couldn't run the table, finishing 12-1. With the Dragons of Pisgah coming to Lake for Friday's first round game, coach Breland says he has his team in playoff mode.
"We've told 'em since last Friday night, you know, if you lose now, you're going to take your stuff up, and our demeanor has been a lot better this week as far as preparation," said Breland.
"Everybody's excited. It's playing for keeps now. Every-body's ready and we want this," said senior offensive lineman Zachary Emmons. "It's been a while since Lake's been this far ahead, and we're ready to go ahead and get what we need."
The Hornets averaged 40 points a game throughout their undefeated regular season. They never scored less than 31 points in a match, and their closest game was a 31-18 victory over Scott Central.
Pisgah comes in with a 5-6 record, capping their season with a shut-out loss to Madison St. Joseph, but Coach Breland isn't concerned with how this game looks on paper.
"They do a good job running the counters and the powers and they've got some explosive backs and they've got good size up front," said Breland. "You know, we're going to have to treat this game like it's any other game.
"Our guys are focused. I think we're going to be ready to play. "
Emmons feels the same way.
"We've worked a lot and we deserve something like this in our senior year... for once, and we're ready for it."