This is what a championship game is supposed to be.
Two very good teams. Rivals on top of that.
Two old-school teams that focus on physical football. And there won’t be any tricks or treats, just in-your-face power football with the winner determined the old-fashioned way.
That’s about what you’d expect when Tattnall Square and Stratford play. And Friday at Tattnall, they will meet with a GISA Class AAA championship on the line.
“Football is all about blocking and tackling and the running game while sprinkling in some pass,” Tattnall head coach Barney Hester said. “Both of these teams are good at that, and we both play good defense and have outstanding special teams. It’s two teams that do things the right way and play fundamental football, and that’s the way it should be.”
For fans of these two teams, it can’t get much better than that.
Both teams have other rivals -- Mount de Sales quickly comes to mind and FPD did, as well, before it moved to the GHSA -- but these two teams have faced off 43 times with Tattnall winning 24 of those. Stratford won the first eight meetings from 1973 to 1982 before Tattnall started making the rivalry competitive.
Tattnall has won the past seven meetings, including a 27-7 win just a couple of weeks ago, and 11 of the past 12.
The two teams have faced off for a state title three times with Stratford winning in 1999 and 2000 and Tattnall winning in 1994. They have played every year since 1984, and seven times they have met twice in a season.
In short, they know each other well, and they know what to expect from each other Friday night. Actually, everyone in the stands will know what to expect: two teams that are going to run the ball right at each other -- no surprises, no new wrinkles, no game plan adjustments -- and let the best team come out on top.
And that’s the way it should be.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org