Tonight, the old rivalry resumes.
"Their so close to us, it's like a backyard brawl," explains Penn senior linebacker Mitchell Meersman.
It's not 'like' a backyard brawl, It's 'the' backyard Brawl.
"Mishawaka vs Penn is always special," explains Cavemen coach Bart Curtis. "These kids will play in this game and they will always talk about it and remember it."
I'll be live at Mishawaka high school beginning at 5:30 tonight for a full preview of the Martin's Supermarkets Spotlight Game of the Week.
Penn controlled the rivalry game for three decades before Mishawaka finally broke the streak with a win in 2009. The Cavemen won four straight meetings, including two sectional meetings before Penn won last year's regular season matchup.
"They are people we are always going to see," explains Penn senior running back Matt Hummel. "They are real close to us. You always want to win that one so later down the road you have bragging rights and stuff."
It's hard to forget the recent battles. Two years ago, they brawled in the snow in sectionals and Mishawaka ended Penn's season in overtime.
Last year--like this year-- it's an early season showdown. The teams no longer can meet in sectionals due to being in different classes but that won't take away from how special this game is.
"It's great," says Penn coach Cory Yeoman, who played in the game himself for the Kingsmen. "It's a great thing to play in. Kids from both teams are lucky to play in a game like this. A lot of guys go their whole career and never get the chance to play in an atmosphere like this and the kids from Penn and Mishawaka get this opportunity and they should make the most of it."
That atmosphere could see anywhere from 7,000 to 10,000 fans Friday night at 7pm at Mishawaka's Steele Stadium.
"Words really can't describe how great this feeling is going to feel Friday night," says Mishawaka senior fullback Tyler McDaniel. "It's going to be packed. People everywhere, fans screaming, family in the stands. It's going to be a lot of fun."
It always is.