Ware Shoals will finish a particularly short week of preparation and seeks its first win of the season against Dixie in a Region 1-1A rivalry clash.

In the all-time series, Ware Shoals leads this rivalry with 45 wins and 19 losses. Dixie has held the upper hand in recent years, winning the game three straight years from 2016 to 2018. Ware Shoals defeated Dixie last season, 41-13.

“It is a big rivalry,” Ware Shoals coach Chris Johnston said. “I’m from Ware Shoals, so I played in this game. I can speak to what it means to these guys and what it means to have the opportunity to play these guys. They’re the Green Hornets and we’re the Purple Hornets, and in Ware Shoals there’s only one hornet and that’s the Purple Hornet.”

Ware Shoals suffered a heartbreaking loss Monday to Whitmire in the Hornets’ first game of the season. Ware Shoals allowed a 90-yard drive in the final minute and Whitmire won 16-12.

Ware Shoals running back Jalen Coates led the team Monday with 88 yards rushing.

“The only way you can get over a loss such as the one we had is to come back and get a win in the next game,” Johnston said. “That’s the only way you can do that. We’re chomping away to get this feeling of Monday night past us.”

Dixie enters the matchup coming off its first win of the season, a 42-6 victory against Calhoun Falls.

“This is always a huge game between Dixie and Ware Shoals because we’re so close together and we’re both the Hornets,” Dixie coach Vic Lollis said. “The kids look forward to it. They always get up for it. This is the one game you throw out the records because when these two teams play, it’s usually a pretty good ballgame.”

Dixie’s rushing attack in its double-wing formation was strong against Calhoun Falls. Wingback Hunter Hatterfield rushed for 178 yards and fullback Caleb Simpson rushed for 120 yards.

“It was really good to see them get out the box after playing two really tough teams in McCormick and Southside Christian,” Lollis said. “We’ve made some changes, and the kids responded really well. It was exciting to see.”

Lollis said the familiarity between the programs should make for another competitive game, even with Ware Shoals coming into the game on short rest.

“I know they’ll be ready because they have a good coaching staff over there,” Lollis said. “They did play Monday, but Whitmire runs basically the same offense we run. It shouldn’t be a whole lot of difference to them. It’ll be a great atmosphere. The fans know each other well, so it makes for a good time.”

Contact sports writer Skylar Rolstad at 864-223-1813 or follow him on Twitter @SkyRolSports.