Grady's E.J. Rodriguez dives for a fumble during Thursday's game against Klondike. The Wildcats defeated the Cougars 40-32 to earn a spot in the playoffs. Grady will face Ropes in a game tentatively scheduled for Fri. Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m in Ackerly.
Tonight marks the end of another season of West Texas high school football. For most of the Crossroads area teams, it means the final game of the season.
Big Spring, under the guidance of Coach Phillip Ritchey and promising sophomore quarterback Tobyn Tannehill, began the season with a shutout win and rolled to a 5-0 start.
The Steers opened district play with a loss, but played No. 2 ranked Abilene Wylie tough.
Then, the wheels began to come off. A 10-point loss to Snyder the following seemed to take the wind out the Steers' sails. It didn't stop there. The Sweetwater Mustangs came to town and handed Big Spring its worst loss of the season, pounding the Steers 42-9. In a must-win scenario, the Steers lost last week to Greenwood, dashing any hopes of a playoff appearance for the third straight year.
The final opportunity for the Steers to earn a District 4-3A victory comes tonight in the form of Monahans (5-4), (3-1) â€” no easy task. The Loboes have lost only to undefeated Wylie and will have home field advantage.
For BSHS Head Coach Phillip Ritchey, he wants to bring home a win for his graduating class.
â€śWe've got some good seniors,â€ť Ritchey said. â€śThey play hard for us and always give us their best effort. That's all you can ask for. Hopefully, we can send them off with a win.â€ť
If you ask Coahoma (2-7) Head Coach Trey Gardner, if it weren't for an endless series of inuries to his starters on both offense and defense, tonight's game against Alpine (8-1) tonight could have been the game which determined the District 3-2A DII champions.
Instead, they are playing for pride, as a playoff run is out of reach for the Bulldogs.
Gardner admits, however, even if he had a healthy squad, the Bucks would be a tough team to dispatch.
â€śThey run a spread offense with one of the better high school quarterbacks I have ever seen,â€ť Gardner said. â€śHe can throw it as far down the field as he needs to. The ideal thing is to keep the ball from him as much as possible. Defensively, they run a 4-3. They don't have as much size as some, but they run to the ball very, very well.â€ť
As banged-up as Coahoma is, they managed to defeat the Sonora Broncos three weeks ago. Gardner is hoping to close out the season with another upset win.
Game time slated for 7:30 at Bulldog Stadium.
The Buffaloes (5-4) have been scrappy all season, but it all comes down to how well they can handle pressure.
As Forsan welcomes the (2-7) Winters Blizzards tonight, Head Coach Jason Phillips and his squad are gearing up for battle. A win tonight and the Buffs are in the playoffs. A loss and the season is over.
The Buffaloes have also dealt with injuries to key players throughout the season, but have stayed in contention in a competitive district. Phillips said although their record may not look impressive, Winters is no pushover.
â€śThey are an extremely young team,â€ť Phillips said. â€śTheir predistrict schedule was tough and with a young team, there will be some bumps and bruises, but they played well last week. They are hungry â€” if they win they are in, if we win, we are in.â€ť
To prepare for the Blizzards, Phillips has been practicing some new formations.
â€śWe want to get our running game going again,â€ť Phillips added. â€śThat's the key. We have to put more points on the board.â€ť
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Reagan County (5-4) at Stanton (3-6).
Wellman-Union (1-8) at Sands (4-5).
Garden City (3-6) at Rankin (1-8).
Grady (6-4) def. Klondike (6-5), advance to bi-district vs. Ropes, Nov. 16 (tentative).