There's a different kind of feeling at James Buchanan's football practices this week.
And for good reason.
The Rockets are itching for a win, and this week may be their only chance at victory this season. James Buchanan plays host to West Perry, a team that has a slightly-longer losing streak than JB.
West Perry hasn't won since its final game of 2013, meaning it's lost 26 straight. The Rockets' last victory came in Week 9 of the 2014 season.
"We do have this game circled," JB coach Andy Stoner said. "I expect us to win the point of attack, and that should keep us in the game. We gotta play our best game of the year, though. We can't turn over the ball, and we can't give up a special teams touchdown, which seems to happen to us every game."
In order to get a victory, James Buchanan will need to score some points. Despite West Perry's winless record, the Mustangs have scored at least once in every game this year. The Rockets, on the other hand, have been shut out three times so far.
"West Perry is no slouch," Stoner said. "They block well; they're our size, but they get after it. They're well organized, and they execute."
West Perry does boast a fairly well-balanced offense. Quarterback Dom Salinetro has thrown for 537 yards, while the Mustangs have gained 848 yards on the ground. Sophomore Terrance Quaker has done most of the damage, racking up 336 yards on 80 carries so far.
For James Buchanan, Cormac Houpt leads the offense with 399 yards, while Evan Stoner has gained 121 on 14 carries. Defensively, Colby Bradshaw has racked up 35 tackles, while Zane Bray is right behind with 28.
"Colby Bradshaw has stepped up tremendously for us, especially defensively," Stoner said. "Offensively, Colton Beckman has been a warrior for us on the line, and defensively, he's playing tackle and inside linebacker, and he's pretty much doing it for us on one leg."
The biggest thing the Rockets are struggling with right now is roster numbers and injuries. JB was down to as low as 28 last week, and it could be even fewer against West Perry.
"I expect our guys to go out and compete regardless of what we have," Stoner said. "At practice, we're making sure we're not hitting as much, though. We don't even want to sneeze wrong right now, because you want to make sure you have 11 guys to put out there."
Mustangs-Rockets at a glance
Game data: West Perry Mustangs at James Buchanan Rockets ... Friday, 7 p.m. at Rocket Stadium ... Mid Penn Colonial Division game.
Media: Follow @JoelRineer1981 on Twitter for updates from the game.
Teams: Both of these teams have gone a long time without a victory ... West Perry has dropped 26 straight, and James Buchanan has lost 18 in a row.
P.O. pick: West Perry by 7.