The Avon Park Red Devils have had two weeks to recover from their heartbreaking loss to the LaBelle Cowboys to prepare for their next district opponent and county rival, the Lake Placid Green Dragons.
"We took a little time off last week and practiced a couple of days," said Avon Park Coach Wade Jackson. "We did some conditioning and stuff like that. Allow some people to heal up a little bit."
He articulated that the kids were disappointed after the loss to LaBelle, but the last two weeks they have practiced hard and have been spirited.
"We brought three or four players up from the junior varsity team," said Jackson, "I am not sure how much they will play, but they get after it in practice and that is the main thing. They give us a better look than we have been getting."
Jackson disclosed that on defense, the Red Devils, who are 0-7, will have to be more diligent in maintaining their assignments and improve on tackling.
Tonight's Class 4A-District 6 contest is the last district game for both teams.
"We're looking for our first win of the season and to make it a district game would be great," said Jackson. "Lake Placid likes to spread it out a little bit and they have a heck of a running back in Eldon McKenzie. They will also run down the seam and throw the ball deep. They do a little bit of everything and they will throw a lot of stuff at us, we just got to be disciplined and tackle."
Offensively, the Red Devils are seeking to augment their quarterback, Alfred Brown, by putting him in positions to make some plays on the ground and in the air. To complement the passing attack, they have brought up some kids that have demonstrated better catching skills and moved some players around.
"We are just trying to sure up what we are doing and get better at it."Jackson said, "I am really excited, we have done some good things this week. I am excited to see what happens."
Jackson believes that the freshmen have reinvigorated the seniors where they were starting to go through the 'here we go again' syndrome and bad things were starting to happen.
"These kids have pushed and hopefully the seniors will respond," said Jackson. "I expect them to play their best football of the year over these last two games."
Avon Park has won 4 of the last 6 games they have played against Lake Placid since 2004, but the Green Dragons have won 2 of the last 3, including a 33-6 drubbing last year at Avon Park.
Jackson said the players are aware of what happened last year and have been reminded of it over the past two weeks.
Lake Placid comes in to tonight's game at 2-5 and the Green Dragons are coming off a disappointing 45-34 loss to Fort Myers Bishop Verot last week.
"This is an exciting game for both of us since neither one of us have a great record," said Lake Placid coach Jason Holden. "We were both hoping to have better seasons than we've had and a win in a rivalry game like this would be big.
"Avon Park has played a tough schedule and they've improved a ton," Holden said. "We know we're going to have to play well because Avon Park plays hard and is much better in their fundamentals.
"I'm sure they remember last year's score and want to beat us, but we are hungry for a win and we're looking forward to playing well in front of our fans."
Tonight's game kicks off at 7 at Roger Scarborough Memorial Field.
Avon Park at Lake Placid
Where: Roger Scarborough memorial Field
When: Tonight at 7