Cody Reese

East Knox head coach Cody Reese believes his team will be ready to face Highland on Friday night, in a matchup that has serious playoff and conference title implications for both teams.

MARENGO – It’s not hard to sell this week’s matchup.

East Knox (7-1, 4-1 KMAC) will head West to face Highland (7-1, 5-0 KMAC) in a game that could very well determine the KMAC title and playoff fates for each team. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. at Fishburn Family Field.

The Bulldogs currently sit one game back from Northmor and Highland, which are tied for first place in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference. Their only loss came two weeks ago to undefeated Northmor, 15-14.

East Knox is led by junior quarterback Kadden Lester, who has thrown for over 2,000 yards this season. The Bulldogs have scored an average of 48 points per game, while giving up just eight. They are currently 11th in Division VI Region 23 and will likely have to win their last two games – against Highland and Danville (3-5) – to qualify for the playoffs.

The Scots have not lost since opening night, when they fell to Bloom-Carroll by 22 points. Since then, they’ve won seven straight, behind a potent offensive attack (42 points per game) and a physical defense (14 points per game allowed).

While East Knox features a lethal passing attack, Highland relies predominantly on its ground game, rotating four running backs to wear opponents down.

Highland is currently 10th in Division IV Region 14 and will face the rest of the KMAC’s brass – East Knox and Northmor – in weeks 9 and 10, respectively.

The winner of Friday's matchup will find themselves on track for a playoff bid and in contention for a conference title, while the loser will cede substantial ground on both fronts.

Last year, Highland beat East Knox 28-7 in Howard. The Scots finished 8-2 and qualified for a postseason bid, while the Bulldogs finished 7-3 and missed the playoffs.

GET READY FOR WEEK 9:

From Monday: Knox County High School Football Roundup: Week 8

From Wednesday: Several area teams inch closer to playoff contention heading into Week 9

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Staff Reporter

Grant is a 2018 graduate of Ohio Northern University, where he studied journalism and played basketball. He likes coffee, books and minor league baseball. He loves telling stories and has a passion for local news.