There's a chance that Galena's football team will not change the pregame procedures it has followed most of the season.
"We might drive over to Coffeyville and turn around and come back, get off the bus and be ready to play," Bulldogs coach Beau Sarwinski quipped.
The Bulldogs, you see, are playing just their second home game of the season tonight at 7 when they battle Columbus with first place in Class 3A District 1 on the line.
Galena (4-0, 2-0 3A-1) is coming off a good road win, 20-0 last week at Caney Valley.
"I thought our kids came out and played extremely well against a good Caney Valley team," Sarwinski said. "Traditionally they run a very good wishbone offense, and we were very well prepared. We did a nice job of keeping them in check. Offensively we did a good job recognizing what they were going to do on defense, and the kids were in attack mode. And we ran back the second-half kickoff for a touchdown. After that we were able to settle in and not do anything to hurt ourselves. Overall I thought it was a good team win."
Columbus (5-0, 2-0) rolled past Cherryvale last week 42-14. That was the first time the Titans allowed more than one touchdown this season, and they've averaged 31.8 points on offense.
"The defense has played really, really well," coach Blake Burns said. "Opportunistic, forcing turnovers (10 interceptions, 6 fumble recoveries), it's helped us out a lot. And our offense has limited turnovers. They go hand in hand.
"We knew we had some tough games early, especially the first three or four weeks of the season. We were fortunate enough to have good breaks and stay healthy. To say is this what I expected, I'd say yes, because we have high expectations or our kids. We've matured faster with some of our younger kids. They've stepped in when we lost as many seniors as we did last year and are farther than along than they realize at this point. It's helped us out to the start that we're on."
Gabe Martin leads Columbus' running game with 562 yards and three touchdowns, and he's caught seven passes for 39 yards. Quarterback Jaxson Haraughty had run for 312 yards and six touchdowns and passed for 123 yards and a score. Lynn Shallenburger has a four catches for a team-high 105 yards.
Linebacker Trent Smith paces the defense with 38 tackles. Shallenburger and Sylas Stone have 35 and 32 tackles, respectively.
"Columbus can run the ball effectively, and they throw it very well, too," Sarwinski said. "Martin is as good of a running back as you'll find in 3A or 4A football. He runs extremely hard, and Haraughty does a nice job of leading the team. Defensively they fly around and play very aggressive. They've caused many turnovers this season."
Galena has a 1-2 punch in its running attack with Deacon Henson (57 carries for 386 yards and two touchdowns) and AJ Holmes (40 for 362, three TDs). Quarterback Brett Sarwinski is 24-of-35 through the air for 423 yards and six touchdowns. Tyler Little has almost half of the catches — 10 for 221 yards and two scores.
Tackle leaders are Sarwinski with 29, Henson with 26 and Holmes and Isaiah Dunaway with 22 apiece. Holmes also has five quarterback sacks and two interceptions.
"We try to get better every week," Sarwinski said. "It's a credit to the kids. They've batted this season with injuries and also what everybody has dealt with. They've been able to regroup and handle adversity."
"Galena is the same as always," Burns said. "Their kids play extremely hard, and there is no quit in them. We have to be ready for four quarters.
"We're similar. We both like to establish the run game and take chances in the passing game."
"I knew Columbus would be a good football team," Sarwinski said. "They have good core kids and have always been well-coached.
"We have to be very good in all areas, play like we're capable of playing. It's what we say every week: One play at a time and play hard and see what happens."