You will know when it is game time.
The kicker will look to his left and look to his right. He will blow in his hands one last time, gasp one last visible piece of the Lansdale air and command his special teams to pursue the opening boot. The metal bleachers will make the sounds of stomping fans from both North Penn and Perkiomen Valley.
Separated by a little over 10 miles, Crawford Stadium will be packed with contrasting colors. The size of the student section may not impact the outcome of the District 1-AAAA semifinal game, but comfort-ability could be an x-factor 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Thanks to two road wins by double-digit seeds, the Knights have themselves an unexpected home game with a ticket to the title game on the line. The winner awaits Neshaminy or Abington. While the long bus rides to Coatesville and Pennsbury did not seem to faze 11th-seeded North Penn, getting to go through the home pregame routine is preferred.
"It is great for us to be home and do our pre-game walk throughs that are intense,' Knights coach Dick Beck said. "The weather is supposed to be good and Perk Valley being so close I would expect a huge crowd, especially with kids coming home for Thanksgiving. It is what you are looking for this time of year.'
The 15th-seeded Vikings went 6-1 on the road this year — the lone loss to Spring-Ford 14-7 in Week Three — and are prepared to get off the bus and hit big play after big play. Last week, coach Scott Reed's team wasted little time running up the score on Central Bucks West. Scoring 60 points on the road is no easy feat, though the PAC-10 team made it look that way against the Bucks.
"CB West struggled covering their receivers,' Beck said. "We cannot let guys run down the field free and we need to tackle in the open field. I don't look at them as a 15 seed. Their seed has to do with the fact there are not a lot of AAAA schools in their league. It is not a reflection on them, but the size of the schools in the PAC-10.'
While both teams have the ability to drop jaws and hit the big play, it is the little unnoticed pile-moving downs that have helped them move the chains and continue their seasons. Knights running back Nyfease West and the Vikings' Mark Bonomo rarely go down on initial contact.
"The guy that really makes them go is (Bonomo),' Beck said. "He rarely goes down with the first guy and has sneaky speed. Second down and short are big plays, especially if we are in their territory. There are a lot of things you can do. You can be creative, you can be boring and have success with both.'
Bonomo had 133 yards and two scores in the 60-20 quarterfinal win over CB West. If the Knights (9-3) can take away a dimension of the Vikings (10-2) spread offense it may be easier to contain a club that seems to be hitting their stride at the perfect time.
"We change our defense up every week any way according what the other team does,' North Penn senior linebacker Luke Berry said. "This week we have to get ready to stop the pass as much as the run. It is all about going back to the basics, taking the right steps, and being in the right place.'
West scored once and ran for 173 yards in the Knights' 31-21 quarterfinal win over Pennsbury. While three passing touchdowns by quarterback Austin Shearer stole the top headlines, the sophomore's ability to put his offense in manageable down in distances was the difference maker.
"Nyfease had one of the greatest performances of a running back since I have been here against Pennsbury,' Beck said. "I said that, not so much because of the long runs or yardage, but the two and three-yard runs where he got hit at the line of scrimmage. That was huge for us.'
Senior Shearer and Vikings senior quarterback Rasaan Stewart are playing smart, confident football. These leaders look like men on a mission. Except only one man, one team, one double-digit seed will remain when Crawford Stadium goes quiet Friday night.
"The overall goal is to make them earn their touchdowns,' Beck said. "We don't to give them any long ones. We are very excited for this opportunity.'
Follow staff writer Andrew Marcus on Twitter @amarcus515.