It will be a battle of the best and the worst in the district when the Lawrence High football team goes on the road to face Topeka High tonight at Hummer Sports Park.
The Lions sealed the top spot in the district last week when they beat their intracity rival, Free State, 33-28.
The Trojans, with an 0-2 record in the district, stand no chance of qualifying for the Class 6A playoffs, but that doesn't mean the Lions are looking past them.
"We have great respect for Topeka High," LHS coach Dirk Wedd said. "I think Topeka High and Lawrence High is the longest running rivalry west of the Mississippi."
The most important thing for the Lions is to come out with a win and gain some momentum going into the playoffs, Wedd said.
"We've won seven football games so we are used to winning," Wedd said. "We need to continue that (tonight)."
The Lions' victory last week was a jump start on that confidence. The win not only gave the Lions the district crown, but also a 7-1 record and some bragging rights in Lawrence.
"It is a good win for us any time you play someone that is kind of like your neighborhood buddy," Wedd said. "These guys play baseball together and they see each other downtown. But our guys are bigger than one win - they want to win state."
Lawrence at Topeka
When: 7 tonight Where: Hummer Sports Park, Topeka Records: Lawrence 7-1 (2-0 district), Topeka 2-6 (0-2 district)
Wedd said he spent less time preparing for Topeka this week in practice and more time focusing on making his team better.
"We need to do a better job with our base offense and base defense," Wedd said.
LHS has not hung a state championship banner in football since 1999. Wedd said although his players were not looking past the Trojans, they were getting more motivated every day by looking at that championship banner that hangs in their locker room.
"These guys see that every day and they want to hang another one," he said.