MOUNDSVILLE - It's been a long, difficult season for John Marshall but that will come to a close Friday at Monarch Stadium against Parkersburg South.
Both teams will be looking for a victory for much different reasons.
For the Monarchs, an 0-10 is staring them right in the face.
For the Patriots, a chance to clinch a trip to the Class AAA playoffs is theirs with a victory. Parkersburg South entered the final week sitting in 13th place of the rankings.
''We want to come out and dethrone Parkersburg South,'' John Marshall interim coach Bob Triveri said. ''Our goal this week is to knock them out of the playoffs.
''In order to do that, we are going to have to want to win.''
Winning hasn't been easy for John Marshall, which saw Dan Wilson resign after the first two games and Triveri, a veteran assistant, take over.
While Triveri isn't expecting to hang up the whistle any time soon, he isn't planning on being the John Marshall head coach past this season, marking what could also be his final game with the Monarchs.
The Monarchs have played well at times, but things have likely weighed on the minds of players with all the change and uncertainty.
Triveri is hoping that goes away, at least for this week.
''I want them to come out and practice hard and try to have some fun,'' he said. ''Then I want them to come out on Friday and play hard and try to win.''
The seniors surely don't want to finish their final season without a victory so Parkersburg South could be in for a bigger fight than it thinks.
But don't expect Coach John Bolen to think that way, especially with his team so close to making the playoffs.
After all, it was just last season when the Patriots looked headed to the postseason, only to be upset 20-13 in the final week of the season at home to John Marshall.
''We did it last year so we aren't expecting them to forget that,'' Triveri said.
Bolen runs a wing-T, an offense Triveri says he ''loves'' and is what the Monarchs used to employ under former coach Mike Linsky.
''If we can stop their scissors, then everything can fall into place,'' Triveri said. ''It's basically countering with their offensive tackle and end pulling.
''They don't throw a lot because they are successful at running. We know what to look for, they just have to listen to what we are telling them. We will tell them how to stop it.''
The Patriots (5-4) will use a variety of runners, led by Jordan Quiocho (600 yards, four TDs), who played sparingly in last week's loss to Wheeling Park. Braxton Johnson (303 yards, three TDs), Jessiah Fickeisen (271 yards, three TDs) and Jake Douglas (369 yards, two TDs) also will see plenty of carries.