Two teams chasing a Midland Athletic League title.
Two teams trying to earn a postseason spot.
Tonight, one team takes the next step toward achieving those goals. The other has a lot of work ahead of it.
Calvert and Seneca East meet tonight at Frost-Kalnow Stadium with a lot on the line as the 2012 season hits its midpoint.
"We feel that Seneca East is one of the better teams in the MAL, and if we're going to be able to compete for the league title, we're going to have to be ready to go," said Calvert coach Todd Fox, whose team comes in with a 2-2 record.
"We look at the season as basically two sets of five game. With the computer points, [a win is] important, but we don't want to finish the first set of five 2-3 either. Big points, big game at home. It's going to be a great night."
For Seneca East coach Ed Phillips, his Tigers dropped their conference opener last week to Fremont St. Joe. Yet, he says the Tigers are taking a one-game-at-a-time approach.
"Every week's the same to me to a certain extent," he said. "I go in and the team goes in every week going after the win. We don't think any differently because of what happened the week before or what's coming up the week after."
In this case for Seneca East, the week before was a crushing loss where the Tigers rallied from an early 26-0 deficit to take a 27-26 lead, only to fall in the final minute.
"When you go through an intense game like we went through last week, and you stick with each other, and you fight, and you put yourself in a position to win, you see the extremes of your team," Phillips said. "You go through a down spot then rally and come back and show people what your made of.
"We just want to go out every quarter, every minute and show people what we are made of. For a quarter last week, we weren't happy with ourselves. For the next the quarters after that we played at the level we're capable to play at."
Fox meanwhile, was proud of the way his team responded from a tough loss to Woodmore, to rout Lakota in the MAL opener.
"Just overall, the fundamentals were better," he said. "They were running the game plan a little bit better. They were just more mentally prepared for last week's game."
From an offensive standpoint, both teams seem to be built from the same mold.
"I think our offenses are very similar, so I'm excited to see what their defense does to stop us and what our defense will do to stop them."
Fox says this is the first time this season when Calvert will face a team that has a true balanced offensive attack.
"This is one team on our schedule that we've played so far that you have to ready for both portions of the offense," he said. "Their quarterback (Ethan) Caudill is a great player. ... They got a lot of talent in their offense."
Likewise, Phillips sees Calvert's attack centered around its dual-threat quarterback Tyler Long.
"Their quarterback, he's so explosive," Phillips said. "He's a very good football player obviously. Coach Fox has done a really good job with them. Up front they were a very good football team, and they lost a couple guys and did a good job replacing them. Once again they're a very good team up front. Behind them they got a lot of great athletes. They got guys that can play make plays and make them fast."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.