TRURO - This wasn't the position the Cobequid Cougars envisioned themselves in at the start of the high school football season.
However, in spite of being eliminated from Division 1 playoff contention with a 51-13 loss to the C.P. Allen Cheetahs Friday in the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League tilt, the Cougars have plenty left to play for - pride.
The Cougars (2-3) look to finish the season strong with the first of their final two games Tuesday at 2 p.m. against the Sir John A. Macdonald Flames (4-1) in what could be their largest home crowd of the season at James Macpherson Stadium.
"We have to execute and make good decisions," Cougars head coach Scott Annand said. "I want the guys to remember what it feels like to not reach our goal and use these two games to start rebuilding for next year."
The Cougars sit fifth in the Nova Division with the fourth and final Division 1 postseason berth out of their reach thanks to Friday's loss. It is only the second time in the 42-year history of the school the football team has not qualified for the Division 1 playoffs.
The Cougars now get set for a consolation final following the regular season which will see them play the winner of a tilt between the sixth-place Lockview Dragons and Prince Andrew Panthers in seventh.
But the Cougars should be highly motivated to finish the season strong, if not to influence the playoff picture for the top teams, but to put on a show for the student body, which will be dismissed early to take in the game.
"The guys are revved up for it," Annand said. "It's a big game. (Sir John A.) is probably the No. 2 team in the province."
The game will also be dedicated to the memory of Vince MacDougall, a former Cougars quarterback who led the team to it's first two provincial titles in 1974 and 1975. He lost his battle with cancer last week.
MacDougall's brother Jamie will be on hand for a ceremonial opening kickoff.
"It's going to be special," Annand said.