Except for maybe a state championship game.
The Raiders have wanted another crack at the Bulldogs for weeks now, and the deck has been cleared. The two teams are on a collision course, and the collision happens Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Raider Stadium.
Much has changed since the teams’ Sept. 11 meeting at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte. The Raiders, struggling to find an offensive identity and rhythm then, have found what they were looking for and are peaking at just the right time.
But then, so is Butler. Reminiscent of Oakland Raider owner Al Davis’s mantra, “Just win, baby,”
Butler has shaken off a host of off-field issues to roll through both the 2010 regular season and playoffs.
So now, it comes to this: The two teams meet on the decidedly un-neutral natural grass of Raider Stadium.
And since the Raiders’ fan base doesn’t travel much over the Thanksgiving holiday — according to some, anyway — the Raiders’12th man can be expected to make its presence felt in a big way Friday night.
Big games demand big performances. And Friday night, someone will step up and get their team to the next level.
Someone goes on; someone goes home. That’s the nature of playoff football.
Both teams have spilled their bucket, sweated, puked, and bled their way through summer camp, a grueling 11-game regular season and two tense, nail-biting rounds of playoff competition.
At this point, there’s not much left to do except put on the pads, hit the field, and see who’s got the magic on their side.
Contact sports editor David Vantress at (910) 997-3111, ext. 14 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.