And that will be the case again Friday night when a pair of undefeated region teams meet at Roy Richards Memorial Stadium, as Callaway travels for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff on the Lions' homecoming.
While the winner will still have work to do after tonight's game, the road to a region championship will be paved as the final undefeated team left in Region 4-AAA. Fighting for a region title is where Central coach Grant Chesnut wants his team to be every year, and he believes it is a positive sign the Lions (4-2, 3-0 Region 4-AAA) are there in just his second year in charge.
"It's exciting. It's important for where we want to head. I don't think it's an all-or-nothing game. I think it's an exciting game that I won't downplay. If we win, it will be a big win for our football team. But at the same time, I think the most important thing is we are 3-0, playing a 2-0 team to continue to work towards a region championship," Chesnut said.
The game lines up well for both teams. The Lions are coming off their open week, allowing them to get healthy, and played one of their best games of the season the week before in a 35-6 victory against B.E.S.T. Academy.
Central continues to be without a pair of senior starters — A.J. King and Blake Morgan — but should have everyone else ready to go.
"Our kids had a good off week last week, so we were able to get healed up a little bit. I think we're about as healthy as we're going to be this time of year. We still have some guys that are nursing some issues, but overall we're about as healthy as we're going to get," Chesnut said.
For the Cavaliers (4-1, 2-0), they are coming off their best game of the season in a 35-0 win against Chapel Hill and are in the middle of a four-game winning streak after dropping their season opener to Class AA No. 7 Heard County.
Callaway is led by junior quarterback Tez Parks and receiver Terry Godwin. Parks is the younger brother of former Callaway starting signal-caller Ricky Parks, who is now playing at Auburn University, and Godwin received an offer from University of Georgia coach Mark Richt during the summer. Godwin is just in his sophomore year.
"They are very good football players. Their quarterback is special, [and] Godwin is a great player himself. The thing you see in Callaway is this — they've got size and strength where they need it and they have great skill players where they need it. They're a very balanced football team when it comes to their personnel," Chesnut said.
One of the best ways to slow down an opponent's offense is what Central's game plan has been all season — ball control. That plan doesn't change at any point and will be a main factor in trying to get a win tonight.
"I think, for us, it's the same in every game. We have to be a ball-control offense and keep their offense off the field. We want to play solid defense and we want to control the clock on offense. Our goal is to have the most time of possession at the end of each game," Chesnut said.
The second-year Lion coach is pleased with where his team is going into the seventh game of the season. Last year, Central dropped its final four games of the year. This time around, Chesnut believes his team is going to peak when it matters most.
"We're hopeful that we're going to go out and play our best football [Friday] night," Chesnut said.