MONTGOMERY, Ohio - Tailback Keith Watkins says Friday's sendoff has been a long time coming.
"We haven't been in a state championship for 15 years," he said. "We have a lot of our alums on our back, and our faculty on our back and it's just going to be a great feeling just to go out there and try and get a win."
Moeller High School students came together en masse to celebrate the Crusaders' football team and cheer them on to victory when they square off against the Toledo-Whitmer Panthers on Saturday.
"We're going to have our hands full," said principal Blaine Collison. "We're going to have to play really well. Everthing's got to be clicking for us on all three phases of the game."
Collison says their not-so-secret weapon is family.
"In our history at Moeller, we talk about the family spirit and that's huge," he said. "It's really what the Marianist philosophy is, to be in community together as a family."
Whether that philosophy brings them their first state championship win since 1985, will be determined when the whistle blows Saturday at 7 p.m. in Canton.
"For sure its going to be a tough game," said Watkins. "We're both going to battle out to see what happens."
Collison says he expects tickets will still be available at the ticket window at the Canton Fawcett Stadium in Canton up until game time.