In high school football, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. Sometimes you never really know what’s going to happen on Friday nights.
And Week 10 can often be the wackiest of them all. There are logical reasons for this.
Maybe a team lays an egg because its playoff spot is finally locked up and they’re coming off an emotional win. Instead of calling it quits, maybe a team with an awful record goes out and plays with more pride than it has shown all year.
There are a bunch of examples, but Week 10 of the 2009 season comes to mind. I was all ready for a three-way tie for third place between Windthorst, Petrolia and Archer City to be determined by a coin toss. I had even found out the exact location and was going to be in attendance.
All that needed to happen was for three double-digit favorites (according to pigskinprep.com) to win. I was at Windthorst covering the game against second-place Seymour that night. The Panthers did win, but they held on for dear life, 24-21.
But that was the only thing that went as planned. Petrolia stunned Kenyin Thompson-led Munday, 28-25. And Electra, which had lost its three previous games by a combined 73 points, upset Archer City, 10-6.
Petrolia ended up nabbing that third spot, no coin flip needed.
There are a bunch of interesting matchups to begin with this Friday night in the regular season finales. You’ve definitely got to be ready for something unusual.
Here are my picks (with games that matter for playoffs/seeding first):
WFHS at Rider – This will be my first time covering WFHS-Rider. I’m usually off at an area game, but since we’re shorthanded on staff right now, I’ll be at Memorial Stadium.
There’s a lot more insight/breakdown about this game on the videos Andy Newberry and I recorded on www.1standtrn.com, so I’ll be brief here.
This is a game WFHS is capable of winning – that isn’t always the case in this rivalry. Having said that, the Raiders have the more explosive offense and I expect that unit led by Chase London to win the game with more big plays than WFHS can respond with.
City View at Alvord – All during non-district, I felt like City View would be a playoff team. But then the Mustangs got off to a bad start in 5-2A Div. II. Still, a win against Alvord gets them in the postseason.
I polled a couple coaches who were split on this pick. My gut still was thinking City View, but then I stepped back and looked at their 5-2A scores. First, although they’ve lost/beaten the same teams, Alvord’s losses were more competitive in every district game and its win was by a bigger margin.
Also, while City View has allowed 48.5 points per game in district, Alvord has given up 28.3 per outing. That stat really jumps off the page. So while a City View win would be really exciting – and I still think the Mustangs can do it – I’m picking the Bulldogs here.
Callisburg at Bowie – Bowie could win and still not get in. I expect the Jackrabbits to come out strong and this game should go down to the wire. Still, Callisburg has played most district opponents better than the Jackrabbits have. It’s a coin flip, but I’ll pick Callisburg here.
Electra at Munday – I think this game is close. And I think this game has a lot of points. I’m sure the Tigers’ Bishop/Lee combo will break off some big plays, but I also think Munday should move the ball pretty well, too.
I’m going to pick the Tigers, because I think they are the most desperate side. It could go either way. But I think Munday will make the playoffs because if the Moguls lose, it’ll be close. Electra needs to win by 11 to advance, and I don’t believes the chances are good of that happening.
Henrietta at Nocona – I’m picking Nocona, but wouldn’t be surprised a lick of the Bearcats won. I think Henrietta will have its hands full against Nocona RB John Jennings, but if they can find the same holes Jacksboro discovered last week, there could be some points scored. It should be a pretty good game, but I’ll take the Indians.
Windthorst at Quanah – Last year I thought Quanah would win by a couple scores, and instead the Indians were fortunate to emerge with a slim victory. I feel the same way this year, and it could end up being the same result. But it’s really hard to pick against Quanah at home the way its offense is firing on all cylinders in district now (474.3 yards per game). This is a big game too because the loser will most likely face Anson.
Vernon at Iowa Park – The Hawks will be playing in their new stadium again and still have a lot of pride. But the Lions are the better team and I think they’ll have a solid showing in a tuneup before the playoffs.
Burkburnett at Graham – The Steers will win by a lot. More important to both teams is that everyone gets out healthy for next week’s playoff games.
Jacksboro at Holliday – A win to finish up a very good district run by the Tigers and a forgettable one for the Eagles. I’m anxious to see if D.J. Thomas can finish with a 200-yard outing in every district game.
Olney at Archer City – Olney has lost 20 straight. Archer City has lost eight straight, although some in pretty dramatic fashion. The Wildcats will end on a high note but still look back at 2013 and wonder what if?
Petrolia at Perrin-Whitt – I could take the easy way out and say the Pirates will win, but that would only be kinda funny to those who know that Perrin-Whitt’s mascot is also the Pirates. So instead, I’ll chose Perrin-Whitt and leave it at that.