Guthrie and Carl Albert players will spend more time in the film room this week.
They'll condition more and stay late to get more reps in.
Both teams will practice with more intensity.
Anything to gain an extra edge for this week's District 5A-1 showdown, a rivalry Carl Albert linebacker Kevin Jones-Dickerson called the “OU-Texas of 5A.”
No. 1 Guthrie and No. 3 Carl Albert will meet Friday at Guthrie's Jelsma Stadium with district supremacy, playoff positioning and pride at stake.
“Coaches yell a lot more; that's for sure,” Guthrie quarterback Bryan Dutton said.
“There's not gonna be a whole lot of messing around. We're a pretty laid-back team, but this week we know what's at stake. It's gonna be cutthroat time.”
Carl Albert senior defensive lineman Darren Colquitt said: “We'll amp up conditioning and how physical we are.”
Carl Albert or Guthrie has won 10 of the last 14 Class 5A championships. And since 2001, when Rafe Watkins became Guthrie's coach, the annual game has turned into one of the state's best rivalries.
Six of the 10 games since then have been decided by a touchdown or less. The last two years have seen large margins of victory (Carl Albert 40-7 in 2009; Guthrie 32-14 in 2010), but this year should be different because of the defenses.
Guthrie's defense is giving up just under five points a game; Carl Albert's is surrendering just under nine.
“The defenses will be the key to the game,” Titans coach Gary Rose said. “Our defense has been playing pretty well, and Guthrie's is the best we've seen.”
Both teams are loaded at all positions on the defensive side of the ball, and both defenses are fast.
“I think their linebackers are about as good as I've seen,” Rose said. “And we're in the same boat. Our linebackers are really solid. Our ends are really solid. Our secondaries are both athletic.
“(Guthrie senior Landry Chappell) is the best linebacker I've seen in a good while.”
Heading into last week's 60-0 win over Noble, Chappell had 60 tackles for the season.
As with most evenly matched rivalries, this one could come down to mistakes.
“We think it's gonna be an extremely tight ballgame, and if it's not, then that means one team had a lot of turnovers and penalties,” Watkins said. “We think it's gonna be a four-quarter ballgame.”