TIPTON — After playing three undefeated opponents in a row, including a 49-0 loss to Lincoln last Friday night, the Tipton Cardinals (1-5) are getting ready for their Homecoming game tonight against the Cole Camp Bluebirds (3-3).
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Tipton coach Tony Braby said while Cole Camp does not feature as gaudy a record as recent opponents, but every year Cole Camp gives the team a great game.
"Even when we had some very good seasons, they always play us really tough no matter what," Braby said. "We have a nice rivalry I think (Cole Camp) coach (Kevin) Shearer always gets up and ready to play."
Braby said Shearer is bringing out the best in the the Bluebirds.
"Not a lot of mistakes, fundamentally sound, big players and so we are going to have to bring our 'A' game," he said. "Which means we are going to have to execute and limit our number of turnovers and just play a good football game in order to have a chance to win."
Braby said with it being Homecoming, the team is hoping the crowd and atmosphere will help increase its chances for a win.
"We are looking forward to it but we know we have a big challenge ahead," he said.
Braby said Cole Camp and Tipton are very similar in their respective approaches.
"Cole Camp is traditionally a power run team and now they have kind of spread out, they've got a good quarterback and they are throwing the ball," Braby said. "We both kind of do the same things and that is going to help us prepare a little more. Whoever executes the best is going to win the game."
Braby said the Cardinals will be getting back running back Cameron Whisler tonight.
But the team will be without wide receiver Austin Pace, who has been a big part of the Cardinals' offense.
Pace is sidelined with a lacerated kidney and he will miss the remainder of the season.
"I really hate it because you don't want anyone to ever miss out on football season but it is especially hard when he is a senior," Braby said. "We are wishing him nothing but the best and he will make a full recovery he just has to rest up and let it heal on its own."
Pace's injury figures to have a big effect on the team.
"I think because he is such a big part of our offense and defense and his leadership, I have been hearing the team talk about 'Hey let's do this for Austin, let's have a great game,'" Braby said. "They also know that, hey we are losing a big part of of our offense, defense and that we are going to have to step it up. No matter who we put in those spots or rotate a couple players in for him I think everyone is really going to want to up their game."