Even before Big Spring-Snyder kicks off at 7:30 p.m. today at Memorial Stadium, the Steers are down 13-0.
They have to come out swinging, no question about. That is, if Big Spring wants a playoff spot.
There are other scenarios that would allow the Steers to clinch a playoff spot in Week 10 against Snyder, depending on what happens in the Brownwood-Wylie game. The one they'll most likely have to rely on is beating the Tigers by at least 13 points, by way of the point differential rule in case of ties in District 5-3A.
“Our goal is to just go out there and score. Score as many times as we can,” quarterback DaVonte Anderson said. “We have to close the gap already. They're already up 13-0. As long as we score and put the ball in the endzone, we'll be alright.”
To make thing a little bit tougher, Snyder (7-2, 2-1) might have gotten its biggest win of the season last week when the Tigers thrashed Wylie 49-3. That score had Anderson and receiver/cornerback Dayvion Young baffled, considered Wylie was so dominant when it beat Big Spring 49-20 two weeks ago.
But no one is complaining about the odds the Steers (5-4, 1-2) have to overcome.
Head coach Phillip Ritchey said his team knows what it has to do for that playoff spot and not much is being ruled out — two-point conversions, onside kicks, whatever it takes.
“It kind of makes it a weird game,” he said. “You could be ahead by 10 and kicking an onside kick or you're still trying to score. That makes it a little bit different. We're behind by 13. That's the way we're looking at it when the game starts.
“We've got to make up 13 points and hopefully we play good defense and limit their big plays, get ahead of them and just try to keep that spread.”
This game certainly isn't the typical “win and you're in” situation for the Steers, but it could turn out to be that way. Ritchey said if Wylie upset No. 1 Brownwood, then all the Steers have to do is win to clinch the playoff spot.
Snyder may not necessarily have to win this game, either. If Brownwood beats Wylie, the Tigers are in.
No matter the scenarios, Young approach to this game is similar to every other big game the Steers have been in this season.
“We just have to go out there and play our hardest,” he said. “This is a big game for us. It determines how the rest of our season goes. We just have to play our hearts out.”
Ritchey said one name comes up when he's asked why is Snyder such a solid team: Keenan Ward.
A dual-threat signal caller, Snyder's junior quarterback has all the tools to take over a game and more. He's rushed for 888 yards on 98 carries for 19 touchdowns. He's also completed 91-of-149 passes for 1,841 yards and nine scores with eight picks.
Ritchey said Ward has the speed and arm to punish defenses and the defense will have its hands full Friday.
However, the Steers don't have to look far as to how to defend against a speedy quarterback.
Linebacker Lukas Falcon said seeing how Anderson works helps him prepare for what he'll see against Ward.
“I think he's probably the most athletic quarterback we've seen this year,” the sophomore said. “It's definitely going to be a challenge. We're going to have to be sure tacklers and just really get after that.”