Coming out of last year’s game with Purcell, there were thoughts that then freshmen quarterback Cole Swayze wouldn’t be playing much football after getting his leg broken against the Panthers.

A year later, Swayze is back at full strength heading into the Pauls Valley game with a home playoff game on the line.

“Swayze makes them go,” Pauls Valley head coach Kevin Foster said. “He’s back to 100 percent after missing some time with an ankle injury.”

Swayze led the Dragons to a huge win over Bethany last week and one more win would give them a home playoff game in week 11. Pauls Valley needs two straight wins to get that home playoff game.

“We still control our own destiny,” Foster said. “If we win out, we can finish second and host a playoff game. That was one of our goals we set at the beginning of the year.”

Despite missing two games, Swayze has over 1,300 yards in offense including 800 rushing with 12 touchdowns.

Another sophomore, Damian Shea, has over 550 yards in the offense and six touchdowns.

When Swayze does drop back to pass his favorite targets are juniors Hunter Marcum and Chris Smith. Smith leads the team with 218 yards receiving and Marcum has 166 yards.

The offensive line is anchored by 300-pound senior Tyler Fannon. He is one of three seniors up front that give Swayze a solid group to run behind.

Purcell will give the Panthers a 4-3 look on defense. Garrett Goldsby is the heart of the defense with 70 tackles this season and two sacks from his middle linebacker position.

Marcum leads the team with three interceptions in the secondary, a secondary that gives up only 85 yards per game through the air.

After back-to-back loses to Lexington and then Madill, Purcell is on a four game win streak that includes a huge win over Bethany last week.

“Purcell is a good football team,” Foster said. “They looked really good last week against Bethany.”

On the line for the Panthers Friday night is a home playoff berth.

“Regardless of what happens this week, we have to beat Bethany next week just because of the loss to Lone Grove,” Foster said about even getting into the playoffs. “We understand that, and we are taking this week as a playoff game and preparing for the battle with Purcell.”

Pauls Valley will be celebrating senior night as the band, pom, cheer and football seniors will be honored. Senior night is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. with the game kicking off at 7:30 p.m. at Thompson Field.

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