One team will be going home after Friday night’s Class C South football clash between Spruce Mountain and Mountain Valley. And that’s exactly what each team wants.

The Phoenix and the Falcons enter the regular-season finale with matching 4-3 records. The winner will finish no worse than fourth in C South, which means a home game in the first round of the playoffs. The loser will finish sixth and start its playoff run on the road.

The Falcons get the benefit of playing Friday’s first meeting at home.

“Our players know what’s at stake. A win guarantees us No. 4 seed with a home playoff game for the first time since 2011,” Mountain Valley coach Pat Mooney said. “Friday is going to have that must-win playoff atmosphere, and it has been a long time since Mountain Valley has been in that kind of position this late in the season. We control our own destiny.”

The Phoenix would have already had a first-round home playoff game sewn up if not for a 26-6 home loss to Leavitt last week.

“There’s a lot of stipulations in this game — playoffs, where we’re going to be seeded,” Spruce Mountain interim coach David Frey said. “These guys have to come to play. Last Friday, we started the game, we weren’t really there. We weren’t ready to play, and it showed.”

The Spruce Mountain players would like to have another game at Griffin Field, but that will be no easy task against Mountain Valley, which would like to play one more game at Chet Bulger Field after Friday’s game.

“I think this is a very interesting matchup for football fans, as both teams represent a very different style of offensive philosophy,” Mooney said.

Mooney’s team runs a single-wing offense, which Frey said uses “a lot of misdirection.”

“We have to make sure we hold true to our positions,” Frey said. “All 11 players have their assignment to do and they have to do it.”

The Falcons boast big-time running back Kyle Farrar, but Frey points out that senior quarterback Nick Newman is also a good runner. And when the Falcons decide to throw the ball, tight end Curtis Gauvin makes for a big target.

Spruce Mountain, meanwhile, employs a spread attack.

“Tons of speed and they have a three-headed monster coming out of the backfield in (Caulin) Parker, (Austin) Darling and (Dillon) Webster,” Mooney said. “Very similar to when they had (Peter) Theriault, (Matt) Vigue and (Deonte) Ring not too long ago.”

Frey also mentioned receivers Kayle Stewart and Brett Frey as “threats” that he has on offense.

“We absolutely have to be fundamentally sound and physical for 48 minutes,” Mooney said. “The most effective way of slowing down speed threats is to be extremely physical with them at the point of attack. We will make that a point of emphasis this week.”

Both coaches mentioned the importance of their offensive lines stepping up. Frey said his line has to play its best game of the season, while Mooney said his has to be physical and error-free, and allow the backs to eat away at the clock while keeping Spruce Mountain’s skill position players off the field.

Frey said the game’s x-factor might be the rain that is in the forecast. He said that could be a concern for the passing portion of his offense. But it also could make catching and grasping his speedy players a difficult task for the Falcons.

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