MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Marquette Football team has had their shares of ups and downs navigating through their first season as a member of the Great North Conference.

While the goal is always to be playing their best football when it matters most during the playoffs, Marquette is coming off an underwhelming performance at home against Kingsford to close out their regular season.

“I’m not even sure what game you’re talking about,” joked Marquette Head Coach, Eric Mason.

After falling to the Kingsford Flivvers 46-11 in week 9, Marquette has quickly turned the page and shifted their focus towards their next opponent.

Marquette Head Coach Eric Mason is using the game as a teaching moment.

“That’s one of the things we’ve been stressing all year, how do you handle adversity?,” said Mason. “Things are going to go wrong in every game. So, you have to rebound from it and the team that rebounds the best is the team the ultimately comes out on top.”

At 5-3, Marquette will be playing host the Petoskey in the first round of the playoffs. These two teams met back in week 7 with Marquette edging the Northmen, 21-20.

“It’s always good to win a close game and to have to hang on,” said Mason. “We did that. So, I was proud of the kids because in close games, obviously, everybody tightens up and things happen. What team can overcome that pressure and that stress of it being close is going to come out on top. I was very happy with the kids and the fact that they gave a tremendous effort and they came out on top of that. Petoskey is a great program, they’re a good team, so I expect nothing different with them coming up here on Friday.”

Mason calls the rematch a great opportunity for his players to prove their showing last week was not representative of what Marquette Football is all about.

“They got an opportunity to reverse what happened last week,” said Mason. “You had a bad outcome last week and now you have a unique opportunity, not only at home in a home playoff game, but you get to rebound and put a better example of yourself, of your team, of your effort, in front of your home crowd.”

In sports, there’s an old adage that says: “it’s hard to beat the same team twice.” in the same season, but Mason believes their last outcome against Petoskey has only injected more confidence in his team.

“Confidence is huge with high school kids,” said Mason. “If you got a confident team then 9 times out of 10 you’re going to excel with that, especially in a close game like that, they have the idea that they can do it. So, I’m looking forward to Friday night and I’m looking forward to them putting their best effort forward.”

Marquette and Kingsford will kick off from William R. Hart Stadium in Marquette this Friday at 6pmET/5pmCT.