WARNER ROBINS -- Marcus Ivory has memories of his fathers exploits against Warner Robins.
He wasnt alive when Mark quarterbacked the Northside Eagles, so these memories are ones handed down through an oral history of sorts. When stories are passed down this way, they have a tendency to morph into grander versions. This one doesnt need any inflation.
Mark, now a middle school athletics director in Houston County, led the Eagles to two touchdowns in the final three minutes of the 1987 rivalry game to force overtime against the Demons in an eventual Northside win.
Marcus memories of his brothers performance are much more vivid.
Marques, who won two state titles and never lost as the starting quarterback for Northside, passed for a combined 377 yards and two touchdowns in two starts against the Demons.
Its intense, even from just watching it, I knew it would be intense, said the youngest Ivory, who will make his first start against Warner Robins on Friday. You can tell theres a difference from every other game they played.
Caden Johnston doesnt have family members who helped cement their legacy in this rivalry game.
But the Warner Robins quarterback has been a part of the rivalry since 2005, when his dad Skip joined the Demons coaching staff.
The younger Johnston watched from the crowd and served as a ball boy for the Demons growing up and watched from the sidelines for two years as a backup.
His strongest memory came as an eighth-grader in 2009. The Demons trailed by 20 points at the start of the fourth quarter, but they rallied for 21 unanswered points and scored the winning touchdown on a 47-yard touchdown pass by Maurice Dudley on fourth-and-7.
Ive been around them, but its a whole new experience running through that banner and seeing all those people, Johnston said.
Despite both teams featuring talented playmakers around these quarterbacks, either Ivory or Johnston could give the winning team an edge with steady play.
Johnston made his first start against Northside last year, and the lead up to the game was a little overwhelming for the rookie.
I hadnt really gotten the experience of playing in it -- the full effect of the crowd, the noise, and thats a big, contributing factor in how we perform, Johnston said. Theres no easing into it.
The Demons fell behind by 21 points in the first half before making it a competitive game in an eventual 35-28 loss.
Johnston has been solid this season under center, already surpassing his passing yardage from last year -- he has 978 yards -- and equaling his 2012 touchdown total with nine. He also has rushed for two touchdowns.
Danny Hite Jr. and Jacquan Burns give the Demons a potent rushing threat with a combined 1,606 yards and 12 touchdowns. Three Demons receivers have more than 150 receiving yards, led by Danny Hite IIIs 354 yards.
I feel a lot more comfortable this year, Johnston said. Last year about this time, I was about as nervous as it gets. Now, Im pretty relaxed. I know what to expect.
Ivory is in the same position Johnston was a year ago.
A first-year starter, Ivory earned the job because of his decision-making ability and because coaches wanted to move last years starting quarterback, Glenn Smith, into a more flexible role so he could make an impact at multiple positions.
Ivory has passed for 830 yards and 10 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He has completed 68 percent of his passes. The Eagles havent had to lean on him yet, however, thanks to a potent rushing attack.
Smith and Willie Jordan have rushed for a combined 1,799 yards and 27 touchdowns. They are also two of the Eagles three leading pass catchers.
Ivory knows the weapons around him will provide some insulation from any shock incurred from the spectacle of playing against Warner Robins.
I talked to both of them a little during the week, and they told me to prepare for it just like it was any other game and not focus on the magnitude of it, Ivory said. I do know its not just another game, but Im focused just like any other week.