One down, two to go. Faced with must-win situations for the final three games, Wesleyan got the job done brilliantly last Friday against Decatur.
The offense was potent - quarterback Brent Pugh was 11 of 18 for 188 yards and a touchdown with Nick Sissine as his main target. The defense was smothering, shutting out Decatur until the reserves came on in the fourth quarter. Special teams were spectacular - Sissine had two TDs on blocked punts and the Wolves stopped Decatur on a fake punt.
"We needed a game like that," Wesleyan head coach Franklin Pridgen said. "After the GAC (loss) and all the nonsense that surrounded that, I felt like the guys needed to refocus and prove something to themselves."
It was exactly the right kind of lead-up for Saturday's matchup with Holy Innocents' at St. Pius. Holy Innocents' is third in the region standings and Wesleyan must beat the Golden Bears to keep its hopes of an eighth-straight playoff appearance alive.
"It all boils down to this one," said Pridgen, whose team will play Walker in the regular-season finale. "If we win this game, we have the tiebreaker over Holy Innocents'. But we'd rather just win out and take the tiebreakers out of it."
The Golden Bears present a challenge for sure, but Pridgen has a smart group of players who know about succeeding under pressure. "Our seniors are going to make sure we're at our best," Pridgen said.
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting: Wesleyan won 24-7 last year
Directions to St. Pius: Take I-85 south to Shallowford Road, exit 93. Go across Shallowford staying on the access road that parallels I-85. Take a right on Plaster and then a right on Johnson Rd. St. Pius is on the right.
WESLEYAN WOLVES (6-AA)
HOLY INNOCENTS' GOLDEN BEARS (6-AA)
Coach: Franklin Pridgen
Coach: Ryan Livezey
Record: 4-4, 3-3 region
Record: 5-3, 4-2 region
Last week: Beat Decatur 42-13
Last week: Beat Avondale 14-0