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Thirty years of this rivalry are behind Northside head coach, Kevin Kinsler.

He still thinks it's unlike anything else in the sport.

"It's a shame that everyone that plays high school football can't do this at least once," said Kinsler.

At the front end of game week, Kinsler's counterpart, Bryan Way, can already feel the buzz.

"Anywhere you go, that's the first topic of conversation."

This year, and most years, it's about more than pride. For Northside, there's a region championship on the line.

"That's another reason why we want to beat them," said Northside quarterback, Marcus Ivory.

Thanks to Houston County's upset of Warner Robins, Ivory's team clinches the region championship with a win Friday night.

"I think that's what makes it so good is that there's more on the line than just bragging rights," said Kinsler.

McConnell-Talbert Stadium is the site of the city championship. It's also where Warner Robins lost its only game of the season. Both sides say that won't matter, come Friday night.

"I know they lost to HOCO but that doesn't mean anything. They're still pretty good," said Ivory.

Warner Robins quarterback, Caden Johnston, is focused.

"Like Coach Way preaches, all that surrounding the game, that's for everybody else," said Johnston. "We've still got a job to do on Friday."

Johnston played in last year's loss to Northside. His team needs to win out for a chance to clinch the region.

"I think that ups the ante a little bit. I think everybody brings their A game to the table," said Johnston.

Last year started with a lopsided Northside lead, but it relented.

"Last year we started out really strong," said Northside linebacker, Thomas Brown. "I think 21-0, and they started coming back. So this year we want to start out strong and finish strong."

Warner Robins remembers. Senior linebacker, Jacob Jamerson, doesn't want to repeat it.

"We can't spot a good team so many points and expect to come back."

Hours of practice on Davis Drive, and Green street, are all that separate these two teams from kickoff.

"It's probably one of the longest weeks of the year," said Way.

The clock is ticking. Only one team has a chance to take the region this week, but the city...

That's fair game.

Follow 13WMAZ'S Wes Blankenship on twitter: @Wes_nship


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