It's one of the bigger games on Eldorado's football schedule — if it's not the biggest — right now.
It's a game that Eldorado head coach Brandon Hampton says his Eagles deserve to be in after a blistering 5-0 start to begin the 2013 Black Diamond Conference campaign.
Eldorado will play host Fairfield, also undefeated, Friday night at Boz Adams Field where the sixth year head coach says there are plenty of similarities between the two ballclubs.
"Fairfield is a team a lot like ours. They're physical, they're built on running the football and they play good defense. They'll hit you and force you to turn it over. It's really going to come down to if we're able to run the ball, stop them and keep from having the turnover."
Hampton said big games like Friday night's will come down to three or four big plays, ala Eldorado's game against Carmi-White County Week 2.
"A year ago, Fairfield won those plays," Hampton said. "They hit us with two long play-action passes and the team that is able to do that this week, puts themselves in the best position to win the game."
Fairfield has some explosive playmakers on offense. Quarterback Joseph Ridget does a good job throwing the football and making plays with his legs, while halfback Derek Greifzu is the leading rusher in the BDC. He averages close to 11 yards per carry.
Historically, the last three years, Hampton recalls playing some real knock-down, drag-out games with the Mules. He doesn't expect year four to be any different.
"We came out on two of those three. They got us last year and I anticipate it being real similar this week. We have to make sure we improve from Week 5 to Week 6 because, the scoreboard says we won 46-6 against Hamilton County, but we didn't play as well as we needed too. Particularly defensively. We were able to force a lot of turnovers, but we didn't play as well as we could have."
This week of practice has been spent cleaning up Hampton said with an emphasis on fine turning the Eagles defense back to their dominance they have enjoyed most of the year as being one of the best in southern Illinois. To date, Eldorado has given up just 12 points to the opposition.
Up until last Friday, Eldorado had given up six points, prior to giving up six to the Foxes in the first half. Hampton was impressed with how his club responded in the second half.
"It's been easy sailing for us for the most part and by halftime we have been subbing, so it was good for us to deal with some adversity and rallying back in the second half.
Page 2 of 2 - "I like how we were able to throw the ball. Nathan Burnett gets better each and every week. He did a good job in play-action situations a couple of times getting the deep ball over the top of the defense. It was fun to see Kaleb Williams play as well as he did on offense and on defense. Tristan Morse really stepped up defensively. He's a guy we have been waiting to come along after really having a good junior campaign."