LAURENS - Homecoming will bring on an added meaning.
You want to win because it's your homecoming game, but for LM-ACT, it needs to win to keep its district title and playoff hopes alive.
LM-ACT is 2-1 in district play and 4-1 overall. The Raiders' opponent Friday night, Rockwell City-Lytton, is 2-1 in the district and 3-2 overall after coming off a 49-0 win over Wall Lake View-Auburn last week.
LM-ACT coach Bill McCabe said it's a do-or-die situation for his club.
"After losing our first game in the district, if we want a shot at the district title or the playoffs it's very important. We have to win out, and we can't do that if we don't win this game. So it is important."
Rockwell City-Lytton features a lot of diversity on offense.
"They're a balanced team who has a good running back," McCabe said. "They also throw the ball, so they're diversified."
"The quarterback has a good arm and will run the option, so he has pretty good speed. They like to run inside traps and power stuff and option."
McCabe knows what to expect from the Wildcats on defense.
"They ran a 5-2 defense against us last year," he said. "They're not real big. They're mainly trying to contain everything. They want to keep our receivers in front of them and they don't want us to get outside on our runs."
LM-ACT features a diversified offense as well. Running back Hale Hawley ran for 211 yards and five touchdowns last week against Southeast Webster. The passing tandem of Jason Brechler and Jesse Schmidt is always dangerous for defenses.
McCabe isn't so much concerned about the problems the Wildcats present as he is his own team.
"We need to play up to our ability and concentrate on what we need to do offensively and defensively," he said. "We just try to do what we need to do offensively and defensively, and if we do it right, we're OK."
McCabe addressed the keys to winning Friday's game.
"I think if we can get ahead right away," he said. "We have to try and make them one-dimensional. We either have to stop them from running the ball or stop them from throwing it."
"I think just reading their keys. They pull their guards on pass plays, so if we can get our linemen and defensive backs to read their keys, it'll be a big asset for us."