Tallahassee Godby High football coach Ronnie Cottrell is getting ready for another bus ride, which is a bit of a hassle but certainly not overwhelming.
"I'd say we've gotten used to taking trips," Cottrell said.
Which might be the understatement of the year.
In six of the past seven weeks, Godby's football team has piled onto a bus and traveled for games. In the past three weeks of the playoffs, the Cougars have traveled to Pensacole West Florida High, Crawfordville Wakulla and Jacksonville Bishop Kenny.
And Friday, Godby must gas up for its longest trip so far – 300 miles and five hours to Robinson (12-1) for a Class 5A state semifinal.
"All this traveling is tiring," Cottrell said. "But we'll be all right. We'll be just fine."
So far, so good for the traveling Cougars, who are 12-1 overall while averaging 442.4 yards and 42 points a game.
More to the point, Godby has averaged 35.3 points in its three playoff road victories, including a 14-7 victory over Wakulla, which handed Godby its only loss during the regular season.
Robinson, meantime, has had the luxury of playing all of its playoff games at home, a fact Knights coach Mike DePue said is just fine, albeit sprinkled with a big dose of extra preparation.
"Godby has proven it can win on the road," DePue said. "This is nothing new to them so we can't take anything for granted."
Cottrell also offered up a share of precaution: "Robinson is the best team we've seen and we will have to play our very best to have a chance."
That will mean running back Khalid Thomas, a University of Kentucky commit, providing his usual production (151 carries, 1,260 yards, 13 touchdowns), along with junior quarterback J.T. Bradwell, who has completed 140-of-233 passes for 2,230 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has also carried it 73 times for another 365 yards and four touchdowns.
The Cougars also feature a variety of talented receivers, including senior Earl Calloway (38 catches, 576 yards), sophomore Jaylin Heyward (30, 466) and seniors Tim Longmire (28, 411) and Thomas out of the backfield (21, 205).
As for style, Godby's offense often looks similar to Robinson, which runs a lot of spread formations with a near equal mix of running and passing.
"(Godby's) offense is of a great concern to us," DePue said. "Their quarterback looks a lot like (Robinson quarterback Zain Gilmore) and their running back (Thomas) is a great player."
Defensively, Godby is physical and quick but has more of a "bend but don't break" attitude, Cottrell said.
"We try not to let teams beat us with big plays," Cottrell said. "We want don't want people getting behind us."
The Cougars' defensive leader is senior linebacker Luke Helms, who averages almost seven tackles a game and acts as a defensive quarterback. Senior linebacker Bud McDonald, however, is the Cougars' leader in tackles with more than seven a game.
On paper, Godby and Robinson look comparable at the skill positions and about equal in the speed department. The only advantage might be Robinson's linemen on both sides of the ball appear to be slightly bigger.
"I expect it's going to be a great game," Cottrell said. "And we're happy to be taking another trip. It's going to be another great challenge and we like challenges."