TORONTO - It will be Senior Night when Toronto plays host to unbeaten Madonna and both coaches, who are very good friends, look at the game as a challenge in different ways. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
For the Red Knights, coach Eric Meek feels that his team must play mistake-free and play the best game of the season to upset the 8-0 Blue Dons.
For Doug Taylor, the challenge is to keep his Madonna team, rated No. 1 in West Virginia Class A, focused after being on an emotional high for its game last week against previously undefeated Steubenville Catholic.
With the 22-17 victory against the Crusaders, Madonna sealed the OVAC Class 1A championship for the second year in a row.
"We welcome Madonna, one of the three or four best teams in the OVAC regardless of classification," Meek said. "They have size, strength and athleticism and I was most impressed by the way they came back against a very good Catholic Central team in the second half last week. Once they settled down, the Madonna defense was outstanding last week."
The Crusaders jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first five minutes and led 17-8 at the half, but the Madonna defense held them to 31 net yards in the second half and the offense scored twice in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, the Red Knights were thumping Hundred last week, 48-6, as the Glenn brothers accounted for 236 of the 292 yards gained in the game. Senior Chez Glenn ran for 84 yards and three touchdowns with six carries and scored on the receiving end of a 58-yard pass from his brother, Blaze.
Blaze Glenn, a sophomore quarterback in his second year as the starter for the Red Knights, added 36 rushing yards with a touchdown.
"The Glenn brothers are the heart and soul of the Toronto offense," Taylor said. "Blaze Glenn runs the Toronto offense well. Those are the two guys we have to key on. We've got to contain them."
On the season, Chez Glenn has 68 carries for 689 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 22 receptions and 257 yards with two scores. Blaze Glenn has completed 64 of 118 passes for 737 yards and eight touchdowns.
Madonna's Eliott Nero has 1,111 yards, while quarterback Ross Comis has an even 1,000 yards. Taylor said the Toronto offense is a mirror image of Madonna's.
"I remember spending four years as Coach Meek's assistant at Weir High and we would sit in the coach's office and devise a game plan each week," Taylor continued. "I think we both have about the same philosophy about football. We deviate some, but it is pretty much the same."
"There are few people that think we have a shot Friday night, but we're working hard and we know we have to play our best game of the season by far," Meek said.
While there will be 11 seniors that suit up in the red and white uniforms for the last time, Meek said he still has played quite a few sophomores and freshmen and a few juniors.
Comis, Madonna's senior quarterback, injured his left shoulder on a run that was the last play of the first quarter against the Crusaders last week.
Taylor said Comis, who was out for just one play, had the shoulder x-rayed and examined by doctors during the weekend with a diagnosis of a stinger that he'll have to play through.
In the 2012 game against Catholic Central, Comis broke a bone in his hand, but he was able to play through that injury and lead the Blue Dons to runner-up in the state.
"I expect him to start Friday at Toronto, but he may be limited to just playing quarterback," Taylor said. "We'll try to hold him out of the defense."