The Mayfield Cardinals will look to keep their winning streak alive as they roll into the playoffs with a first round matchup against Fort Campbell at War Memorial Stadium this Friday night.
The Cardinals enter week one of the class 2A playoffs on a six game winning streak, defeating Madisonville-North Hopkins 53-50 last Friday night to finish their 2019 regular season campaign with a 9-1 record.
Heading into Mayfield's second meeting with the Falcons, head coach Joe Morris says his team is working to get better each week of the playoffs starting with Fort Campbell this Friday.
"We can't take anything lightly, everyone is 0-0 at this point," Morris said. "There's no question Fort Campbell is a team we should beat, but ultimately we want to make sure we get better than we were last week. We have to make sure we're focused and ready to go and I think we will be, we have a lot of seniors here who's time is winding down and they want another chance to get to Lexington. We know it will be a tough road but it starts right here, the biggest thing is we have to go out, play our best, take care of business and every week be at our best."
Mayfield took down Fort Campbell 42-0 on the road in week six as quarterback Jayden Stinson threw for 252 yards on 9-10 passing with three touchdowns while running back Kylan Galbreath added three touchdowns of his own, running for 129 yards on five carries.
The Falcons struggled on both sides of the ball in their last meeting with the Cardinals, gaining just 104 all-purpose yards, doing most of their damage in the second half against the Cardinal reserves.
If the Falcons have any hopes of making things interesting on Friday night, they'll need stellar play from their quarterback Matthew Middleton.
Middleton had a fair showing against the Cardinals in week six, throwing for 102 yards on 11-17 passing. During the season, Middleton threw for over 1,200 yards, adding 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
While Mayfield is at home this week, they've likely locked up home field throughout the playoffs leading up to the championship game, giving Morris and his team an advantage as the postseason progresses.
"The good thing is that somebody is going to have to come to our place and beat us and we feel good about that," Morris said. "We get to be here on our own field and dress in our own locker rooms, that makes a big difference to us. Don't get me wrong, we have to go out and execute and play hard and know what's going on but the bottom line is we like the spot we're in and we think we're playing pretty good football. Hopefully we can go out and play a great game against Fort Campbell and get some momentum going."
With this being week 12 of the 2019 season, injuries are going to affect any, if not all teams and the Cardinals are no exception.
Senior defensive back and three-year starter Derrick Smith will be out this week and possibly next week as well as a hit to the back during last week's win at Madisonville has him sidelined with soreness.
Alonzo Daniel is expected to increase his play on defense and split time with other Cardinal defenders in Smith's absence.
While Mayfield will be without Smith, two-way player Markeacio Jackson will be back on the gridiron after serving a one-game suspension for his hit on Murray quarterback Hunter Utley in week 10.
With a chance to advance to the second round of the class 2A playoffs on the line, the Mayfield Cardinals will take on the Fort Campbell Falcons at 7:00 p.m. tonight at War Memorial Stadium.