Just a week prior to the Sussex Central High School football team's game against cross-town rival Sussex Tech High School, the team was leaving its home field after beating Milford High School, 35-0, in dominating fashion.
At that time, there was only one thought on the minds of the Golden Knights — the postseason.
Head Coach John Wells said after the Milford game that his team needed to be in playoff mode from there on, because any slip up could mean the end of Central's postseason hopes.
If the game at Tech was any indication of what playoff mode is going to be like for Central, than things are certainly looking bright moving forward, as the Golden Knights dominated a banged-up Ravens squad en route to a 47-7 blowout win last Friday night.
Wells said he was pleased with the performance of his squad, adding that despite the fact Tech (3-6, 2-4) had to play a lot of young backups due to injury, his Central (7-2, 5-1) team didn't change its level of play.
"We're trying to get into the playoffs, so for us this is a playoff game," he said.
The Central win, coupled with a loss by Caesar Rodney High School (6-3, 4-1) to Cape Henlopen High School (7-2, 4-1), leaves the Golden Knights, Riders and Vikings each with one Henlopen Conference North loss.
With the points, CR can lock up the North with a win at Dover High School (5-4, 3-2) in its season finale on Nov. 9. But a Rider loss means Central takes the conference crown.
Despite all the scenarios, Wells said Central is only focused on taking care of its own business and hoping the rest falls into place.
"You can guesstimate the bonus points you get in the standings but you can never be exact," he said. "You still have to play the games. So we said, 'Look, we want to control our destiny.' We didn't want to have help. We need to win games."
For Sussex Tech, this game was a chance to get some young players, players of the future, the opportunity to get some big game experience, as a few injuries for the Ravens made starting the underclassmen a necessity.
Head Coach Bernie Nowakowski said while the final result of the game against Central was a tough one to swallow, he was happy his younger players had the chance to do some on-the-job training.
"We had a lot of young guys that played tonight," Nowakowski said. "It was an opportunity for them to get better and we'll show them some things [on film] to help them get better, and we'll move forward. We'll be alright."
Page 2 of 2 - Things are quite the opposite right now in Central's world, as Wells said he doesn't remember his team being this healthy at this point of the season in almost five years.
Coming off two weeks in which the Golden Knights have outscored its opponents — Milford and Tech — by a combined 82-7, the coach said he's not sure if his team is peaking or if those performances are simply a result of having a healthy football team.
"I'm not looking at the scoreboard thinking we're that much better than anyone else," Wells said. "I'm just happy to get wins. Maybe we're peaking because we're healthy. I like how we're playing right now."
The Golden Knights will look to close out its regular season the way they've played the past two weeks when they host Indian River High School (8-1, 6-0) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
The Ravens, on the other hand, hope to reverse fortunes and end their season on a positive note as they travel to A.I. du Pont High School (6-3, 5-3) at 7 p.m. on Friday.