The annual showdown between Madison Southern (3-3) and Madison Central (1-7) is as intense and fierce as any rivalry in the state.

This time around, there seems to be an added sense of urgency surrounding the game.

The Indians and Eagles both head into the regular-season finale following tough losses last week.

"I am a fan of playing an intense game going into the playoffs," Southern coach Jon Clark said of the Jack Burford Sports Show. "I think it carries over. I've never been one to pad the last game of the (regular) season."

One team will head into the playoffs next week with a much-needed, momentum-building win.

The other, won't.

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Berea.

"Next week is going to mean a lot to everyone around here," Madison Central coach Mark Scenters said. "It's going to be something that these guys will remember for the rest of their lives."

Both teams suffered disappointing losses last week -- in very different ways.

Central put together its best offensive effort of the season in a 41-35 loss to Southwestern.

The Eagles had just 45 total yards in a 53-7 setback at state powerhouse Boyle County.

"We played a really good opponent and we were out-matched all over the field," Clark said. "Hopefully, we learned something about the intensity which that team plays with. That's something that we strive to get to. We are trying to get our kids to emulate that intensity."

Southern trailed 43-0 at halftime, but got a touchdown run from Cameron Holbrook in the third quarter.

Sophomore quarterback Cole Carpenter completed 4-of-9 passes for 19 yards. Holbrook had four rushes for 29 yards.

Jonah Farnstrom and Walt Smith each had two catches.

The Eagles will be the No. 1 seed out of District 7 in the Class 5A Playoffs. They still don't know who they will play in the opening round of the postseason.

West Jessamine and Woodford County are set to meet Friday night and that game will impact the seeding.

The Indians have known for two weeks they will take on Bryan Station in the first round of the Class 6A Playoffs.

Central's losing streak reached six games last week with a heartbreaking loss.

The Indians racked up 345 yards of total offense and had a 27-21 lead at halftime. Senior quarterback Canon Scenters was 11-of-17 for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Adrien Parks had 153 yards rushing and two scores, including a 66-yard run, and Jayden West had three catches for 128 yards and two TDs.

Edgren Sweat had a team-best 12 tackles and a sack.

"These guys believe they can beat Bryan Station," Scenters said. "These guys believe they can move on in the playoffs. They are not ready for it to be over. They are committed to giving everything they have got."

The Eagles topped Central, 34-25, last year in Richmond to claim their first win over the Indians since 2015.

Clark knows it won't be easy to beat Central again, regardless of the team's records.

"They are the best one-win team I think I have ever seen," Clark said of Central. "They are a talented team. They have playmakers all over the field. They play hard on defense. We've got our hands full."

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