Western Albemarle knew it had a target on its back going into the final week of the regular season .
The Warriors were 9-0 and hosting Louisa County with a shot at a perfect regular season. But much like the Warriors stormed into "The Jungle" in 2011 and upset the Lions, Louisa returned the favor last week and knocked Western from the perch of the unbeatens.
"Yeah that happens, that comes when you put a winning streak together like we did and everybody's coming in," Western head coach Ed Redmond explained. "You beat a team that's undefeated, ranked in the state, that can be their season. So we had been up to the task until last week and Louisa came in here and quite frankly beat us. We just didn't have any answers for them late in the game and just didn't get it done but we've moved on and understand what's ahead of us now."
What's ahead of them is a rematch with Charlottesville in what was perhaps originally the game of the regular season in the Jefferson District.
The Warriors outlasted the Black Knights 50-49 in a contest that saw both teams pile up huge chunks of total yardage. When the dust cleared, however, Western was still undefeated, but not without having gone through a battle.
"Yeah you know we understand their athleticism, they've got a very good football team, very well-coached and they're good. Anybody who doesn't say that hasn't seen them play," Redmond said. "We've tried to shore up our tackling, our assignments and alignments and we're just going to make sure our kids are in the right place and in the end it's their going to be their game to win or lose."
Western refocused its energy on correcting mistakes after the Louisa loss and according to Redmond, the Warriors will be ready to go at home Friday night.
"Well you know we made some adjustments, we saw some things on film we weren't doing correctly alignment wise and made some corrections. We've had a good week of practice, we got some things squared away mentally and more importantly I think our energy level is a little higher," Redmond said. "Anytime you go into a game 9-0 and the other team comes in here with nothing to lose, it's always a dangerous situation. We've moved on from it and I'm really proud the way the kids have practiced this week."