(T-G Photo by Gary Johnson) [Order this photo]
It hasn't been the season Shelbyville (3-6, 1-3 8-AAA) had expected. After opening the season with a pair of wins, the Eagles enter their season finale losing six of their last seven games, being totally dominated in the fourth quarter.
Opponents have outscored Shelbyville 108-24 in the fourth quarter this season.
Injuries along the way haven't helped the cause.
The only thing left to play for is pride and that's what Central coach Jason Hardy has been preaching all week.
"There's no doubt we wanted to be heading for the playoffs right now but that's not going to happen. This has been one of those years where it seems like a lot of things just went wrong. We just didn't have many things go our way this season," Hardy said.
"I think our kids coming back next year have seen how quick things can be taken away from you, through injuries or discipline or whatever. If they can take anything away from this season it's that nothing in life is given to you. You have to work hard all the time and that starts in the offseason and goes all the way till the last game of the season."
Shelbyville enters the game averaging 28.1 points per game while the Eagle defense is allowing 33.6.
The Falcons (3-6, 2-2 8-AAA) post an average of 14 point per outing while giving up 27.6.
Lincoln County is led by senior quarterback Matt Beddingfield and running back Kevin Galloway and wide receiver Tradarius Christian.
Beddingfield has competed 34-of-46 passes for 426 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also is a threat on the ground with 231 yards on 60 carries.
Galloway had 104 touches for 362 yards while Christian has hauled in a dozen passes for 158 yards while rushing for 392 yards on 62 carries.
The biggest challenge the Eagles may have is dealing with the size of the Lincoln County linemen.
"The first thing that jumps out at you when you watch Lincoln County on film is that they're just so big," Hardy said.
"They run the football well and their quarterback does a good job in the passing game and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. On defense, they are just hard-nosed. They play hard and will hit you on every play."
Shelbyville standout senior Marquis Morton will not play due to a shoulder injury he suffered two weeks ago, then reinjured last week against Centennial.
Morton, a preseason all-state selection and MTSU commitment, has had an outstanding career for the Eagles. This season he has rushed for 655 yards on 120 carries with 11 touchdowns. In addition, he's caught 11 passes for 197 yards and a pair of TDs. He has also returned a punt for a touchdown.
"Marquis has had a great career and has done a lot of things at Central High School that haven't been done in a long time. I really hate that he's not going to get to play in his last game of high school," Hardy said. "This has been a great senior group and I hope we can go out and get a win for them in their last game."