EDWARDSVILLEEdwardsville's football team has accomplished just about everything they set goals for this season.

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They've won the Southwestern Conference championship. They've gone undefeated thus far. The IHSA football playoffs are on the horizon.

First thing, though, is one more regular-season game, which the Tigers will play at Granite City at 7 p.m. Friday at Granite City's Memorial Stadium.

EHS enters the game at 8-0 overall, 6-0 in the SWC following last week's 45-0 win over Alton; the Warriors won their first two games of the season, non-conference tilts against Jersey and Riverview Gardens, but haven't won since; they stand at 2-6 overall, 0-6 in the league. They dropped a 41-0 decision to Belleville West last week.

Despite that, Tiger coach Matt Martin – who coached the Warriors from 2003-07, taking them to the IHSA Class 7A playoffs in 2007 – knows that the Tigers can't take Granite City lightly.

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“They've got a big offensive line and they run the ball well,” Martin said. “If you commit to stopping the run, they can keep you off-balance with their passing game. They have enough good skill-position players that you have to watch out for.

“The main thing we'll have to do is control the things we can control; we'll need to execute and do the things we do best.”

The Warriors have a three-year starter in quarterback Gabe Jarman, who's gone 68-for-147 passing for the year for 750 yards and five touchdowns with 10 interceptions; he's also ran for 474 yards on 108 carries. Jarman's main targets are Kyle Thompson (23 receptions for 315 yards and two touchdowns), Darion Flemons (13 receptions for 236 yards and a touchdown and Eugene Wilba (11 catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns).

On the ground, GCHS relies on Ron Allen, who's had 94 rushes for 468 yards and two touchdowns, and Brandon Bettag, who has had 41 carries for 192 yards and three touchdowns. On defense, Thompson leads the Warriors with 63 tackles and two sacks, with Earl Green contributing 37 tackles and an interception, Allen having 17 tackles and two picks and Bettag 31 tackles.

Edwardsville is hoping to get Riley Jones back at quarterback this week; he's not played since having knee surgery Oct. 2. Brendan Dickmann has done well as the Tiger QB, going 8-for-20 passing for 138 yards with a touchdown since stepping into the role. Kendell Davis had a good night against the Redbirds, running for 112 yards and three touchdowns while Jackson Morrissey, who missed a game with turf toe, carried five times for 86 yards and two touchdowns against Alton.

“We just want to keep improving as a team,” Martin said. “The kids know the playoffs are coming; we just want to keep improving.”

The IHSA will announce the first-round playoff pairings beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday; the announcement will be streamed on the IHSA web site, www.ihsa.org, and posted afterwards. Dates and times for the first-round matches will be announced Monday

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