He looked over his group of senior players as they posed for a picture following the decisive Senior Night victory.
"It's our last one [in the regular season] with these guys,'' Carpenter said. "That takes precedence over who you play or anything.
"I think they've done a good job of focusing on theirself. That team that's running into the locker room there, I think. Is the only one that can beat us sometimes. They're getting ready to go walk by five [state championship] trophies, so that gets you, too.''
Hurricane's game at Spring Valley Friday doesn't qualify as a heated rivalry, but it means everything in the world to the Redskins who, at 5-4, desperately need a victory to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive.
"I hate that fact, too,'' said Hurricane coach Jeremy Taylor, whose team is one of the highest-scoring in AAA.
"I hate the fact we're going to be down there in the mud, and I just hate the fact that this senior class is fighting for their lives at the end because they're a good senior class. They've got a lot of leadership, and they're playing their hearts out. Sometimes it's not meant to be.''
Hurricane had beaten Capital in back-to-back years before falling on Friday, gaining only 184 total yards.
"Tonight, we just unraveled there a little bit,'' Taylor said, "but Capital had a lot to do with that. They're a good team. With that much speed and that much size, they can really mess with you.''
It's not exactly a neighboring rivalry like some of the other games going on around the state this weekend, but the ones pitting No. 2 Wayne (9-0) at No. 1 Bluefield (8-1) is definitely the game of the year so far in Class AA.
The two-time defending champion Pioneers bring a 32-game winning streak into Mercer County - four shy of the all-time West Virginia record owned by Ansted (1970-73).
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.