MASSILLON — Nate Moore isn't one to believe it's possible to make something already perfect even more perfect.

For the Massillon coach, the fact his team is playing for the Division II state championship should be the end-all, be-all. The fact that it's Hoban, which is 14-0 and won the past three state titles, to him is just more toppings on the already-perfect pizza.

"Really, how much extra is there room for when you're already talking about a state championship game," Moore said. "You already have a Kraus' double-stuffed pizza loaded with topping. Where's the extra?"

Despite Moore's mouthwatering metaphor, there's no question the matchup between the 14-0 Tigers and 14-0 Knights has steadily been building up hype as both teams went through the season. As both stacked double-digit win upon double-digit win, coupled with the Division I college potential on both rosters, the potential for a showdown between the two only worked itself closer and closer to the front of many people's minds

Those minds, however, didn't include the two head coaches. Both Moore and Hoban coach Tim Tyrrell insisted their thoughts never drifted to the other until after Friday's state semifinal wins.

"To be honest with you, not from our end," Tyrrell said. "I usually have a pretty good ear to the ground, and the kids laugh because they think I have bugs throughout everything and that I know everything. Our kids really haven't. They've really bought into that whole concept of going one game at a time. Their minds might have strayed a little bit and watched scores and did those types in the second part of our season, but I really haven't heard much."

That's not to say that this week is the first time that Tyrrell was asked about Massillon.

"I haven't heard much other than media," Tyrrell said. "Media has kind of hyped that up. I've had the question on radio shows and those types of things."

There's no avoiding the questions now. Adding to the on-the-field reasons behind the hype is also the layer that comes with two schools just 24 miles apart playing for a state title.

Throw into that equation the game site, a short bus trip for both teams in nearby Canton. That simply adds the potential for a championship-game atmosphere not seen in recent years.

Moore, for one, is looking forward to seeing the turnout from Massillon's fan base. That fan base has traveled and filled the stands in Mansfield, North Canton and Gahanna thus far in the playoffs.

An 8-mile journey to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium should be nothing in Moore's estimation.

"I will say this, there's nobody that travels like Massillon travels," Moore said on a teleconference Monday. "Everywhere we go, it feels like a home game because of the fans we have. We expect them to travel well and be a factor in the game Thursday."

It's a game that has been on the minds of many for a long time, even if none of those belonged to the coaches or players involved.