GLEN ROSE – When the 2018 football schedule came out, Glen Rose football coach Cliff Watkins wasn’t to hip on having an open date the week before the last game of the season.

As the season progressed, however, he changed his tune.

“Now, I think it was good timing for us,” Watkins said. “It let us get some rest and get through some bumps and bruises, and kind of take a breath before we start the playoffs when we need to be playing our best football.”

The Tigers (7-1, 3-0) haven’t played since drubbing Godley 55-8 on Oct. 26. 

In addition to getting healthy, the Tiger staff used the extra practice dates to refine some areas of concern. 

“We really took the week to focus in on us getting better,” Watkins said. “We worked on the little things that we hadn’t been doing great and got a lot of quality reps.”

With the lopsided win over the Wildcats, the Tigers wrapped up their third consecutive district title, and it appears they will be playing Vernon again in the first round of the playoffs in two weeks.

In the meantime, the Tigers can clinch their third consecutive unblemished district season with a win over the Venus Bulldogs (1-8, 0-3), who enter Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game on a five-game losing streak.

“These seniors have a chance to be three-time undefeated district champions, which is great,” Watkins said. “I don’t think there has been a lot of talk about it because that was this group’s expectation coming into the season.”

The game will be the final home game for several seniors who have been instrumental in the Tigers’ success.

“They helped lay the foundation of our program and have raised the expectation for our younger guys,” Watkins said. “As long as they continue to focus and prepare each week, who knows how far they can take this team.”

The Tigers enter the contest on a five-game winning streak where they have scored 41 points or more the streak and allowed 23 points or less defensively, including a shutout over Hillsboro. 

“Coming off of our open week I really want to see us come out and play fast and physical. We need to stay focused on us and not our opponent,” Watkins said. “Friday night, we need to play our best game of the year and send these seniors out the right way for their last game at Tiger Stadium because they deserve that.”