Columbian coach Brian Colatruglio said plenty of time and preparation went into last week's 35-21 victory over Northern Ohio League rival Bellevue.
The key now is for the 6-0 Tornadoes to avoid a letdown at 1-5 Shelby tonight.
"The natural reaction is, 'OK, we won that big game [against Bellevue],'" Colatruglio said. "Human nature says you can relax, and that's what we're battling, is to not let our team relax and not take a step back."
The Whippets are coming off a 49-7 home loss to fellow NOL undefeated Norwalk. Four of its five losses have been by at least 25 points.
Meanwhile, all of Columbian wins have been by at least two scores. But Colatruglio said TC can't overlook Shelby.
"We can't let them hang around," Colatruglio said. "We can't let them play with us. We need to assert our will and come out and take care of our business. There's no doubt, we're more talented and we need to play like it."
The reality, Colatruglio said, is Columbian needs to realize it hasn't won anything yet.
"I think our defensive coaches put it on the scouting report this week," Colatruglio said. "There's no trophies for 6-0. There's no championship; we've accomplished nothing at this point. Everything we've wanted to do is in front of us."
Colatruglio said that Shelby's offense has been effective at moving the ball.
The Whippets are led by back Andrew Baird, who's averaging more than 100 yards a game. Shelby's quarterback Lukas Ousley leads an offense that runs a bit of an option game.
"Offensively they're pretty solid; they've moved the ball on everybody," Colatruglio said. "The run game, Baird is a tough runner.
"They have gained yards; they're biggest thing is they've just turned the ball over so much, and in critical times in games. [From the] 20-to-20 they've moved the ball real well. They've struggled in the red zone; they've struggled in turnovers."
Colatruglio said the Tornadoes need a fast start.
"We can't allow them to get any confidence," he said. "The start of the game is going to be big. Last year we jumped out quick. When you're playing a team that's a decided underdog, that's the formula."
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.