Perry-Lecompton High football coach Mike Paramore remembers exactly what happened last season against Tonganoxie.
The Kaws had a chance to win the Kaw Valley League title and finish undefeated in the regular season for the first time in 25 years. That didn't happen, as Perry-Lecompton lost in overtime, 24-21.
That loss needs no reminding for Para-more's players before the home contest tonight at 7 p.m.
"Very few played much of a role in that game last year," Paramore said. "The importance of the district implications, and of course the league implications in this game, is all the motivation we need."
This year's matchup has the same big-game feel. Tonganoxie comes in 6-0 while Perry-Lecompton is right behind at 5-1. A Kaws victory would put them back in first place in the league after they dropped their first game of the season last Friday against Kansas City Piper.
"Last year's game was one of the best games I have ever been associated with," Tonganoxie coach Mark Elston said. "I would assume that this year's game is going to be the equivalent."
If Perry-Lecompton is going to get the victory, it is going to have to stop Tonganoxie quarterback Jeff Hughes, who made things happen with both his arm and his feet last week, scoring four touchdowns.
"He is able to move laterally very quickly without losing any speed," Elston said. "He is a dual threat, and if you try to blitz him, he can get the ball on the pass, and if you lay back, he can run. He does put defenses in a bind."
Hughes has been successful running the wishbone offense this season, which gives him multiple options to gain yards. Elston said teams have attempted to focus primarily on the run, but have not been successful.
"We have been able to get some big plays the last couple of weeks because teams have sold out against the run and we have been able to get some big passes," Elston said. "Also, once you hit a run and get past the initial wave, there is nobody three yards from the ball."
Elston has a different type of offense to prepare for this week, with Perry-Lecompton often using quarterback Caleb Denton in the shotgun formation. Paramore believes it helps Denton be more versatile running the football.
The Kaws are coming off the disappointing 24-14 loss to Piper last week.
"It is time to regroup," Paramore said. "We were not going to make excuses or point fingers. We just need to get better."
Paramore hopes that this week, his program can continue to make strides toward becoming a premier program in the area.
"Last year's time kind of broke us through," Paramore said. "This group wants to continue to keep that going. Our kids want to play hard and represent themselves well and their school well."