Week 10 Preview
By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS – The playoffs are two weeks away and while several of the area teams have clenched a postseason berth, several aren’t sure whether they are going to be a two, three or four seed.
Two teams who still had a shot at the district title – Crockett and Grapeland – both lost while Lovelady secured its grip on the second seed. Palestine won to keep its hopes alive for a one seed while Westwood’s playoff hopes appear to be fading and Elkhart’s dismal season continued.
The good news is Crockett, Grapeland, Lovelady and Palestine have all clenched a spot in the playoffs. The only question that remains is where.
Leon Cougars (5-3, 2-2) vs. Grapeland Sandies (6-3, 2-2) – If the Grapeland Sandies win this game, they will go into the playoffs as the number three seed behind Normangee and Centerville, who play each other this Friday night.
With starting QB BJ Lamb on the shelf, the Sandies have dropped two straight games. The good news is it looks like they may have stumbled onto something with Keizion Ashford and Riley Murchison taking snaps under center.
The Cougars have long been known as a running team, but this year they are slinging the ball all over the field averaging over 30 pass attempts per game. They have also been a Jekyll and Hyde squad in district. They took down a strong Centerville team in their first district game but lost to Groveton last week.
Crockett Bulldogs (5-3, 3-1) vs. Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans (6-2, 3-1) – This game will likely determine the second seed out of District 9-3A DI. Crockett’s D looked good most of the game against Diboll last week and should be able to step up against a scattershot Trojans team.
Coldspring lost an early district game to Huntington and barely held on to defeat Westwood last week. Crockett needs to establish its running game early to free up Jadyn Collins in the passing game.
Lovelady Lions (4-4, 3-1) vs. Cushing Bearkats (5-3, 3-1) – The Lovelady Lions are currently in second place in District 11-2A DII and should remain that way after this week. The Lions have gotten stronger and stronger as the season goes along.
The Bearkats fell to the Tenaha Tigers last week and fell into a third place tie with West Sabine and looked bad in doing so. Expect the Lions to clench the second seed this week.
Elkhart Elks (0-9, 0-5) vs. Huntington Red Devils (3-4, 1-3) – The Elks will have one last chance to salvage a rather dismal season as they travel to Huntington for a game against the Red Devils.
Huntington still has a slim shot at the playoffs so expect the Red Devils to be prepared for this game. On the flip side, if they take the Elks lightly, they just may lose any shot they have at the postseason.
Palestine Wildcats (6-3, 4-1) vs. Lindale Eagles (6-2, 4-0) – The Palestine Wildcats are still in a position to finish first in District 9-4A DI if they can take down Lindale this week.
If that happens and Lindale defeats Kilgore in the final week of the regular season, Palestine will be the outright district champs.
Westwood Panthers (3-5, 1-3) vs. Trinity Tigers (4-4, 2-2) – The Panthers are on the bubble. A win against the Tigers on Friday would move them into a tie with Trinity for the fourth seed.
Westwood has shown a lot of improvement this year and a win would do wonders for their program. The Tigers are in the same boat as Westwood and have been down for several years. The Panthers played Crockett and Coldspring fairly close. This should be a very competitive game.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.