Aurelia just doesn't have to win, it has to win by at least 10 points. That's the way coach Myron Radke figures the point system which is used to determine the state playoff qualifiers.
"There's so much at stake," he said. "The only thing we can do is go out and win by 10 points and we don't have to worry about it. We control our own destiny. We have to score a lot of points."
Last week, Aurelia lost to a massive second-ranked Sentral team 40-35, giving Sentral the district title and the automatic playoff berth. This week, however, the matchup problem for the third-ranked Bulldogs will be speed.
"They're not very big, but they are quick," Radke said. "They can fly. This week we're going to have to battle the quick folks. They still have a chance of winning the at-large berth, so they're going to be after us. They're thinking they can get us again like last year. It's going to be something."
Whiting won a lopsided game from Aurelia in the season finale last year, ending Aurelia's chance at a playoff berth.
Whiting features an outstanding running back in Bryce Roberts, who is extremely dangerous. He was averaging six touchdowns a game before getting injured earlier this season.
"We have to build a corral around him," Radke said. "If he gets outside the fence post we're in trouble. We have to force him back to the inside where our horses can get after him. We can't let him get free. Our defensive ends have got to contain and keep everything inside. If we do that, I think we have a good shot at them."
Roberts, however, isn't the only weapon that Whiting has. There's a wide receiver who can hurt the Bulldogs.
"They have a wide receiver who can catch anything," Radke said. "He's a cat. He does a great job for them. There's another big problem. We just have to do our reads quick and do it a little better."
Radke made no bones about how Aurelia will attack Whiting offensively.
"We're going to run right at them," he said. "If they know it I don't care because we're running the football. I don't think they're big enough to handle our big running backs."
Radke talked about the factors that will ultimately decide who wins Friday night's matchup.
"Ball control will be the bottom line," he said. "We have to control the ball. We can't let them do it, and in the process, we have to make them punt the football every once in a while."
Whiting lost to Okoboji 64-40 two weeks ago while Aurelia beat Okoboji 32-20 earlier this season. Radke said that doesn't mean a thing.
"You can't read anything into that," he said. "Each game is on its own merit."
Radke gave an assessment of Whiting's team.
"They're aggressive and they come after you," he said. "They're not big, but they are so quick. Offensively, they'll option and run the iso play and off-tackle play and they can throw the ball. We have to be prepared for anything and everything."