BRIGHTON — The Brighton football team has gotten two weeks of film on tonight’s opponent, East Kentwood, after the Falcons played Rockford the last two weeks.
But, coach Brian Lemons says, that only goes so far.
“Every piece of film helps, but you have to come out on Friday night and try to execute the best you can,” he said.
The Bulldogs (8-2) are home against the Falcons (6-4) in a district football final tonight at Brighton High School. The game will be broadcast on The Livingston Post starting at 6:45 p.m. Click here for the broadcast link.
The Falcons played Rockford the last two weeks, losing 17-7 in the final week of the regular season, then upsetting the Rams last week 36-12.
“They play a tough schedule,” Lemons said. “That group of schools over there just beats up on each other all season long. Come playoff time, they’re a tough challenge.”
East Kentwood plays in the O-K Conference’s Red Division, which saw five teams make the playoffs, with three of them playing tonight.
Tonight will mark the second year in a row the Falcons and Bulldogs have met in the postseason. Last year, East Kentwood won 31-28 when Brighton’s attempt at a game-tying field goal in the final seconds missed.
The loss, and the long ride home, still hurts, but Brighton is more focused on using the momentum from last week’s 26-9 win over Holt to lift the Bulldogs this week.
“It helped bring our confidence back, but every year is a new story,” Lemons said. “Every team we see from this point on is going to be pretty darn good, so if we execute, and if our kids can handle their task defensively, we should be pretty solid.”
The Bulldogs were solid on both sides of the ball last week, shutting down Holt’s rushing attack on defense while controlling the ball on offense.
“It was really cool to have the defense go out there and play their butts off and then have the offense feed off their positive energy,” said running back Nick Nemecek, who rushed for 166 yards and a touchdown. “We have to execute the game plan, make sure everyone does their job. They have some good players, and we have to play as a team, and everyone has to do what they have to do.”
The attention to detail shown last week, Lemons says, is no less important tonight.
“If you don’t take care of the finest little points, it can create a huge problem on defense,” he said. “So taking care of our own jobs and making sure we worked as a unit helped out a lot.”
Having home-field advantage, Nemecek said, will help, too.
“It will change the atmosphere, for sure,” he said. “We’ll have a lot more fans, because they’re traveling from quite a ways away, so we’ll have a big challenge.”
The Bulldogs were a loose group at the start of practice Thursday, their practice jerseys replaced with replica jerseys from players’ collections for the non-contact workout.
Tonight is the 11th game of the season, and the Bulldogs welcome it, as do the Falcons.
“It’s what you look to,” Nemecek, who was wearing a Michigan jersey with the number of his favorite player, running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, said of this time of year. “It’s what you play for. It’s all the time you put in. It’s what you do it for.”