Game: Lassiter at Hillgrove, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Lassiter 37, Hillgrove 29 (Sept. 31, 2012)
All-time series: Lassiter leads 1-0
Prediction: Hillgrove 28, Lassiter 21
Lassiter and Hillgrove don’t know each other all that well, with the teams playing in different regions since Hillgrove opened its doors in 2006.
But that doesn’t mean the programs don’t know what the other is capable of.
Lassiter and Hillgrove, two perennial region favorites, each lost a lot of talent to graduation last year, so, getting off to a good start to the season would be ideal to build confidence in their young programs.
“You hope to see that success after graduating big play guys, like our programs did,” Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said. “It’s a chance to get our young guys some experience and see what they can do.
“Our teams are aware that it’s not about putting everything into one game. It’s a process, and (tonight) is one of those steps in that process.”
The matchup is the type that both coaches like because the two teams will help make each other better.
“You want to play a pre-region schedule that gets you ready for your region slate,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “This game does that. We’ve done that the last two years with McEachern and Hillgrove, and we think it’s important to challenge your team early.”
Irwin said he will be looking for specific things to go well (tonight).
“I’m looking forward to seeing our offensive line perform well,” Irwin said. “We have four new starters, and only Phillip Murray is back. The unit has been ahead of schedule, and if they can become a top-flight unit, that will take the pressure everybody else.”
Hillgrove also expects good things.
“We want guys to make good decisions,” Ironside said. “We want to protect the football and see enthusiasm from our guys. I like what we have even after graduating a lot of guys.”