Calvert had some lofty goals coming into the season. But after an 0-3 start, Calvert's chances of reaching those goals seemed to be the same as a toddler reaching a top-shelf cookie jar.
Calvert got into the win column beating Lakota last week, and with that one win, Calvert grabbed a 1-0 Midland Athletic League record and shot all the way up to 10th in its playoff region.
Suddenly, the cookie jar full of goals wasn't so high up, but the Senecas realized they'd only get closer by not reaching for it just yet.
"We were happy on Friday to walk away with a win. But we started all over on Saturday and are worried about being 1-0 on (tonight)," said Calvert coach Todd Fox. "The men understand that all our goals are still reachable and attainable. We really re-shifted our focus in the last two weeks to focus on that Friday night and worry about everything else later."
Tonight Calvert travels down 224 for a 7 p.m. kickoff against longtime rival Seneca East. It will be last time in the foreseeable future the teams will meet. Next year Seneca East will join the Northern 10 Athletic Conference while Calvert moves to the Toledo Area Athletic Conference.
For Seneca East coach Ed Phillips, playing a rival is the best way for his team to get over a tough loss last week, a 10-7 decision to Fremont St. Joe.
"The guys, this being last season in the MAL, this is the last time they're gonna play Calvert," Phillips said. "That helps [getting over a tough loss], having a team you look forward to playing."
Each team's game last week was played in a downpour. While it fit right in to Fox's gameplan, it caused problems for the Tigers and the MAL's leading passer Ethan Caudill.
"We played a good football team [in St. Joe], but we played in a downpour," Phillips said. "We expect to make plays in that kind of stuff, but it didn't help us last week."
Fox and the Senecas welcomed the rain as it helped them stick to their run-first mentality. Calvert racked up 323 yards on the ground against Lakota.
"That's more of our forte," Fox said of the running game. "The weather dictated that a little bit more for us too, but we know up front we have a pretty special group of linemen up there and we do feel we have a stable of backs that are very special also."
Fox's tendency to run, though, is no secret to his counterpart tonight.
"I know coach Fox, he wants to run the football," Phillips said. "If he could play every game and run the football every play he would."
Seneca East's offense isn't too dissimilar from the Woodmore attack that put up 515 yards and 48 points on Calvert in week 3. But Fox says there is a bit of a difference in Seneca East's offense.
I think its a different animal in that [Seneca East is] more physical," Fox said. "They are a physical football team. At the same time, their offense, the fireworks can start with the way they throw the ball around and stretch you out defensively."
According to Fox, for Calvert to record its second win of the year, holding on to the ball will be key.
"We have to avoid the crisis and that's turnovers," he said. "You look at our first four games and we're giving the other team too many chances. We need to take care of ourself and take care of the little things. Avoid that crisis by holding on to the football. When we do throw the football, throw it to our guy and just play sound fundamental football."