Crawfordsville and Southmont will head into Friday evening’s matchup looking to keep pace in the conference and secure the county title, a feat that has eluded both team since 2007 and 2013 respectively.

 “One of our first goals that we set as a team is to win the county championship.” Mountie head coach Desson Hannum said. “If we can win that, it usually means we’re going to finish well in the Conference.”

Both coaches agree that Friday will come down to maintaining possession and not turning the football over. Turnovers have hindered both offenses in this young season, and they know the importance of limiting those.

“Our key is not letting that third team show up, and that team is ourselves.” Athenian head coach Larry Getts said. “In our losses, we’ve beaten ourselves with turnovers, missed assignments and unforced penalties, and we can’t do that Friday.”

“Each offensive possession is important, and we must execute those drives and finish them in the endzone.” Hannum said. “The more physical team, and the one that limits turnovers and big plays, will give themselves the greatest chance to win.”

Both teams offense will offer a different look for the other’s defense.

“Crawfordsville’s offense is unique and something you don’t see often.” Hannum said. “They can lure you to sleep and then hit you with the big play, so we’ll have to play assignment football and know our keys.

“We have to play assignment football and be disciplined.” Getts said. “Each player will have to do their job to limit their opportunities.”

Trent Johnson leads the Athenian ground game with 5.4 yards per carry, while Caden Jones averages 3.9 yards per carry.

Speedster Kyle Nunemaker leads the Mountie attack 6.2 yards per carry.

Getts wants to see his Athenians (1-3, 1-1 SAC) handle adversity Friday night.

“We’ve been in every game and haven’t handled adversity well.” The first-year Athenian head coach said. “When we can master that we’ll see the victories add up.”

Hannum knows the importance of this game for his Mounties (1-3, 1-1 SAC).

“This is always a big game, and the last two have been very close.” he said. “Winning this one will be big for our program and give us additional confidence going forward.”