When Sequoyah (5-4, 5-4) Region 7-AAAA) comes to Wildcat Stadium Friday, it will be looking to pick up a win and get some help -- in the form of a Rome loss to [ranked] Chattahoochee -- for a spot in the state playoffs.
Woodland (2-7, 2-7) can dash those hopes and finish its season on a two-game winning streak.
Fourth-year Wildcats coach Steve Hamilton does not expect a letdown from his team.
"This is just another opportunity to play the game. Obviously for the seniors they'll be motivated," Hamilton said. "I don't anticipate (effort) being a problem. They're going to go out there and have fun."
The Chiefs' head coach believes his team knows what its mindset must be.
"I hope they're just focused in on what we have to do," said second-year Sequoyah coach James Teter, a former Dunwoody coach. "We're out if we don't win. They understand what the situation is."
Teter said he has been impressed by the way his team -- which upset Lambert and former coach Sid Maxwell Oct. 22 and then beat Forsyth Central last Friday -- has bounced back from defeats this season.
"We've done this twice now. We started out 0-2 and won three (in a row)," said Teter, whose team followed that winning streak with back-to-back losses before this recent run.
Even during Sequoyah's slow start, Teter believed his team was capable of playing well.
"We thought we were still a good team," he said. "Every loss we've had, other than Chattahoochee, we've had the lead in the fourth quarter.
"Once we got them to understand that they needed to finish a game, they've kind of responded to that."
No one has to tell Hamilton about the importance of finishing. An inability to finish drives has hurt the Wildcats this season -- until recently.
"We really progressed last week. We finished drives and didn't turn the ball over," added Hamilton of Woodland's 38-21 win at Creekview. "When we do that, things go pretty well. ... If we do that (Friday), we'll have a good chance to beat them."
The Woodland coach, who noted his team's defensive improvement the last few weeks, expects the Chiefs' offense to be a challenge.
"They're going to score. It's just a matter of can we keep the ball out of their hands and not give them extra possessions," Hamilton said. "They've got a good quarterback (Ben Rogers) and he throws the ball well."
With its athletes, Teter is wary of Woodland's potential.
"They're a team that's better than their 2-7 record," said the Sequoyah coach, mentioning that some of the Wildcats' losses have come from mistakes at critical times.
"They're very athletic. They can scare you a lot with the athletes they have. They've got some athletes in spots we don't," Teter said. "We've kind of told our kids to look for them to be aggressive on defense (and) be very fundamentally sound on offense."
That offense has been Woodland's calling card throughout the year, but there has been overall improvement late in the season.
"They fought, and it's encouraging. We've definitely gotten better as the year's progressed" said Hamilton, whose team got off to an 0-4 start. "We're definitely a better football team than we've been at any point this year and at any point last year."
Two Wildcats who have turned in great seasons are junior running back Cambrell Turner and senior QB Ashton Shelton, who will each have an opportunity to etch their respective names in the Woodland football record books.
"Cambrell's only 30 yards from the school record (1,247 rushing yards) and Ashton's only 100 yards behind him," Hamilton said.
Those two and the entire Wildcat team will have to contend with a team yearning for a playoff berth, even if it won't completely be in Sequoyah's control.
"We can't control what everybody else does," Teter said. "If we don't take care of business, then we're out all together."
"For our kids, we're kind of building it up like, let's keep them out of the playoffs," Hamilton said. "Hopefully we can match their intensity, and I think we'll be OK."
Woodland and Sequoyah kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wildcat Stadium.