Coach Brian Colatruglio and his Columbian Tornadoes are all too familiar with the speed and big-play ability of Mansfield Senior.
A year ago at Frost-Kalnow Stadium, the Tygers trailed late in the third quarter, 23-7, before Chekiah Washington took over at quarterback and sparked a 16-point rally to send the game to overtime. Columbian won the game in OT, but the memories of Mansfield's explosiveness remain.
"They definitely have that big-play ability," Colatruglio said. "Both their touchdowns last week [in a 14-7 win at Galion] came on big plays, and obviously against us last year they hit some big plays. That's got to be our focus.
"You've got to make them drive the field," Colatruglio said. "You've got to make them be consistent."
The TC coach said that while the offense has similar abilities, it has a different philosophy than in years past.
"They're a completely different offense," Colatruglio said. "They were I formation with a really good tailback last year, now they've gone to mostly four receiver stuff... they're gonna throw the ball they're gonna throw it deep."
Jalen Reese, a junior, is the Mansfield quarterback.
Even though Mansfield likes to spread things out and throw on offense, Colatruglio said TC will try to take away the Tygers' running game.
"They don't want to do a whole lot [of running]," Colatruglio said. "But if you completely take it away and make them one dimensional, we can hopefully get them to throw some incompletions and get off the field."
The Tygers are coming off a stout defensive effort at Galion, one in which they allowed 107 yards. Fifty-two of those yards came on Galion's lone scoring play.
Colatruglio said his main focus this week, and this season, has been finishing, something the Tornadoes struggled to do against the Tygers a year ago.
"We want to finish, whether it's in practice, in drills or the fourth quarter of games," he said.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.