No matter what the situation is going into Game 10, Mike Falleur's squad will show up to play football.
"I'm looking for the same I would any week to come out and play the way you're supposed to play it. Play hard, and you're kind of playing for a little bit of pride, playing to have a 5-5 season with a bunch of young guys. We've been in every football game and just haven't made that one or two games we needed to win," the second-year VR coach said.
This season the Wildcats (4-5, 4-5 Region 5-AAAAA) have lost three games by a touchdown or less and the other two losses have come against ranked, undefeated Allatoona and East Paulding. Playing like they have with as many underclassmen and inexperienced players has shown Falleur what this team can be capable of.
"You take away East Paulding and Allatoona, and you can look and just about everybody in this league has taken those kind of beatings or losses by those two. We've been in every football game. Hiram, 20-19, out here with South Paulding we're up 6-0 and got a chance to bring it back 14-13 and we drop a pass," Falleur said. "It's important for our kids to understand that most teams we're playing, they might be playing a few sophomores but not like what we've done."
Coming to Villa Rica is a North Paulding (6-3, 6-3) team that has already secured the No. 4 playoff spot in the region. The Wolfpack have played their fair share of close games, as well, including back-to-back overtime games to start October.
This week South Paulding is coming off one of the several lopsided losses Allatoona has handed out this season. Offensively North Paulding is fast-paced while they run a 4-4 on defense. The key to Wildcat success will be keeping their own offense on the field to give the defense some rest.
"They're a good football team. Them and Rome played a couple weeks ago and it was 57-56, so another good offensive football team. They're different from Rome in the fact that Rome runs the football. [North Paulding] is going to run the football, but they want to spread you out to run it and throw the football a bunch," Falleur said.
While Friday's game won't have much of a difference on 2012, there can be an impact on 2013. A win can give the Wildcats momentum going into offseason workouts.
Obviously our goal at the beginning of the year was to win every game we played. That hasn't happened so to finish off with a win going into the winter and to be 5-5, I think that would be a great way to finish it. Everybody would have a good feeling going into the winter," Falleur said. "We need to finish this off the right way, have that week or two off and then go to work [for next year]."