Robbie Briggs hopes there will be a different result this time around.
Earlier this season, Laurence Manning traveled to Hammond and returned home on the wrong end of a 35-21 outcome. But a lot has changed since then. The Swampcats are healthier and more confident, especially after last week's 43-40 win over defending state champion Ben Lippen.
"The first time we played Hammond, we had a few guys out," Briggs said.
"We're a very young football team. We started five new offensive linemen Defensively, they have a tremendous team as always and they do some things to expose you up front. I feel the kids are playing with more confidence. We've had three close wins which in a way is a negative, but in a way is a positive because it gives the kids a lot of confidence and of course, the win last week on the road at Ben Lippen just kind of added to that confidence level."
The last time Laurence Manning made it to the state finals it lost to Hammond 17-0 in 2014. The Swampcats are looking for their first state title since 1997. Briggs has seen the baseball team win back-to-back state championships and with some of those players on his team, he is hoping those experiences in the spring will carry over to Saturday night.
"A lot of the guys have that experience in baseball and understand how to finish and how to close and understand what it means to win a championship," Briggs said.
"They've done a good job of lending their experience to the underclassmen."
Kickoff Saturday night is set for 7:30 pm at Benedict's Charlie W. Johnson Stadium.