HUNTINGTON - Coming into Friday night's game at Huntington, one team desperately needed a win to solidify its playoff standing while the other was pretty much locked in where it was.
Once action started, it sure wasn't hard to tell which team was which.
Capital was the more aggressive team from the get-go as the Cougars shut down the No. 3 Highlanders early and often en route to a 48-18 victory at Bob Sang Field.
The Cougars more than clinched a berth into the Class AAA playoffs, they may have also established themselves as the most dangerous team in the state.
Capital coach Jon Carpenter said his team has shown a lot of maturity in winning four out of five games since back-to-back 3-point losses to South Charleston and Hurricane.
"If we win those two games I don't think we're as good as we are right now," Carpenter said. "There's a lot of mistakes we wouldn't have tried to finish. We'd have been sitting around drinking Dr Pepper, eating Oatmeal Pies, and celebrating instead of trying to get better."
If nothing else, the Cougars certainly may be the hottest team entering the postseason after beating Class AAA top-10 teams in the last three weeks to close out the season, all in convincing fashion.
James Richmond had a big hand in helping that string continue Friday, rushing for 122 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns while adding 49 yards receiving on four catches.
"We don't like taking losses," Richmond said. "We decided then that we aren't going to take any more losses and we came out here and played with our all."
Early on Friday, Capital could absolutely do no wrong.
The Cougars scored as many touchdowns in the first half (three) as Huntington had first downs.
In fact, Capital squeezed the Highlander offense to the tune of just 44 total yards in the first half. Highlander quarterback Mark Shaver accounted for 20 of those yards through the air but managed just 1-of-7 passing, including two interceptions.
It wasn't enough that Huntington couldn't help itself when it had the ball, but the offense actually hurt the defense as well.