Things are setting up quite similar to last year for the Veritas Christian football squad.
A year ago, Veritas was coming off three straight blowout victories - part of a four-game winning streak - to face St. Mary's Academy. And a year ago, St. Mary's put the hurting on the Eagles, 48-28.
"This Friday is a huge game. St. Mary's is a league opponent," Veritas coach Doug Bennett said. "Beating St. Mary's will be very big for us. We just need to continue to build off the confidence and the momentum from the last three weeks."
Veritas has scored at least 52 points in its last three contests, heading into tonight's final home game against St. Mary's. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at VCHS Field.
While Veritas hasn't put up the 40-point average margin of victory as it did in last year's three-game stretch, it has won by no less than 18 - with its biggest victory coming a week ago in a 45-point mercy-rule-shortened game against Wichita Word of Life, 54-6.
The Wichita school also was St. Mary's last victim, as it defeated Word of Life 78-28 two weeks ago.
"Our whole offense runs off our running game," said Veritas' Michael Kay, who wracked up over 100 of the team's 291 yards on the against Word of Life. "If you can't pull off your bread-and-butter plays then you're not going to be able to make teams over pursue, one way or another.
"We really need to play with fire against a good team like St. Mary's. We need to come out and just hit. We need to do the fundamentals and just do what we did these last few weeks and we'll be alright."
The Eagles have more than retribution on their minds right now, though. Veritas is taking aim at a better seed in the Kansas Christian Athletic Association playoffs and can increase its chances with a victory over tonight's opponent.
"We're in fourth and if we win, we'll move up to third - which would be nicer than playing the No. 1 team in the first round of state playoffs," Veritas' Jeremiah Johnson said. "And that's definitely motivation in itself."
A victory also would mark Veritas' first victory over St. Mary's in the program's four-year history.
"We've never beaten St. Mary's as a varsity program, so we can't be intimidated by them," Bennett said. "We've got to believe in ourselves and believe that we can win that game."