The Juneau-Douglas High School football team will be battling more than just one conference foe when it takes the field at Colony on Saturday in its final regular season game.
The Crimson Bears (3-4 overall 3-2 Railbelt) need a win against Colony (4-1 Railbelt) to pull even in the conference race, but they will need a dominant defensive performance to make a playoff game in Juneau apossibility.
If Juneau-Douglas manages to pull even with Colony, they will still need to break the tie by pulling ahead in points allowed during conference games. Palmer, currently 3-2 in the Railbelt, owns the lead heading into the weekend with 67 points allowed. Colony is second with 69 points and JDHS third with 73 points allowed.
With less than a touchdown separating the potentially-gridlocked teams, another stiff performance by the Crimson Bears defense, who shut out Lathrop last weekend, could bring a rematch with Colony to start the playoffs.
"Of course we want to come back home, but this weekend's about getting some momentum going into the playoffs and getting (team records at 0-0)," offensive coordinator Rich Sjoroos said.
JDHS will need to stop Colony quarterback Colin Murphy, who leads the Railbelt conference in rushing yards by a quarterback.
"They've also got a couple of good receivers with speed and a big, bruising running back," Sjoroos said. "They're a good team and we definately have our work cut out for us."