Rivalry week means focus for Northside, Warner Robins

dshirley@macon.comOctober 28, 2013 

Northside-Warner Robins

Warner Robins-Northside

Little more needs to be said.

Especially when you have been around the game as long as Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler and Warner Robins head coach Bryan Way have. Both were longtime assistant coaches at their respective schools before taking over as the head coach: Way in 2004 and Kinsler in 2010.

They face off again Friday night at McConnell-Talbert Stadium in their annual biggest game of the regular season.

“There’s always a little something special about the whole week,” Way said. “Practice is more intense and more focused, and there’s a lot going on leading up to the game. But all that stuff is for the fans and the students. The players and coaches have to be immune to all that because we have a job to do, and that has to be our mindset.

“But it’s something special, for sure. This is definitely what high school football should be about.”

Having so much experience in this game should help both staffs corral their players this week and get them to focus. And the focus is on Friday night for another pivotal game in the series.

Northside is 8-0 overall and 5-0 in GHSA Region 2-AAAAA. If the Eagles win, they clinch the region championship, which would be their 14th.

Warner Robins is 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the region and can still claim the region title if they win their final two games. The Demons have won 23 region crowns.

Warner Robins leads the all-time series 33-22, but Northside has won 12 of the past 15 meetings, including three straight.

“It’s a constant battle every day this week to avoid the distractions,” Kinsler said. “We have to keep (the players) busy and avoid all the hoopla of the week leading up to the game. But I think the kids on both sides have done a great job, and they know what’s at stake in this game, the region championship and the magnitude of Friday night.”

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