"The main thing about these games,'' Carpenter said, "is that you don't get so far out of [character]. You know, all that WWF stuff - thinking you're going to do all that hooping and hollering and crazy stuff. That gets you so excited it gets you out of place.
"I think the longer it gets in the season, you have to do it like you were taught in August. You don't add stuff this late in the year. It all comes down to basics.''
Two of Capital's top linemen seemed to relish the chance to go against Watkins.
"He's a great player,'' said senior James Walton. "He's real fast and we'll just have to contain him. He makes a lot of people miss, so we'll just have to play sound defense and tackle him when we get there.''
"To me, we have the best rushing and passing defense in the state,'' said senior Jaisson Dyer. "So one quarterback? One player on a team? I really don't see it happening [against] Capital High School.''
Watkins has also seemed to handle quite well the hubbub surrounding his eligibility issues.
The situation arose because he attended eighth grade in two different states - West Virginia and Maryland, then continued the same academic path in high school, first at Hedgesville (where he enrolled as a freshman), then at Martinsburg the last three school years.
Watkins missed two games this season - sitting out the first game when some questions about his eligibility arose and later was a healthy scratch when the Bulldogs played Spring Mills on Oct. 11.
The Martinsburg school administration threw its support behind Watkins during the tumult and backed the decision to keep playing him. According to published reports, the SSAC said it received new information on the case and decided to restore Watkins' eligibility as a result.
"We just went about our business,'' Walker said of the situation.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.