Crowley is playoff bound for just the fourth time in school history and clinched its first district title since 2001, but the Eagles won't be taking it easy this week.
While some teams will rest key starters this week in preparation for the postseason, Crowley coach Chris James says everyone who can play, will.
"We're not good enough to do that," said James, whose Eagles are 8-1 overall and 6-0 in District 8-4A. "We've been fortunate to win and not play well on either side of the ball or one side of the ball. We're going out and we're going to work on some things and try and get better."
Even senior running back Larry Cheeks, a three-year starter who has rushed for over 1,000 yards each season, will suit up this week against Joshua (3-6, 1-5).
"I told Larry that if he gets tackled he's coming out of the game," James said.
While James says the offense, known for its powerful rushing attack, has some kinks to work out in the passing game, the defense has been outstanding.
The Eagles pitched their first shutout of the season last week in a 49-0 rout of Waco University. A week earlier, Crowley limited offense-minded Cleburne to just 19 points.
"I think our defense has the ability to be as good as any defense in the area," James said. "There's enough size, speed and strength there as well as experience, which is the big thing."
James credits a switch from a 4-2 alignment to a 3-4 along with moving Kyron Minter from linebacker to safety as keys to the unit's success. The move has allowed Minter, who leads Crowley with 57 tackles, to roam the field more and make a bigger impact on the game.
Keller Central kicker Hunter Morrow was selected Wednesday as one of 10 finalists from across the country for the inaugural U.S. Army - Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence.
The award recognizes high school athletes for their athletic prowess, academic achievements and impact on the community.
Morrow will be officially nominated by former Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Bell and U.S. Army representatives in a ceremony 1 p.m. Monday at the school.
Morrow has kicked six field goals, including a 47-yarder in the final minutes to beat Richland, 24-21, on Oct. 26.
As a finalist, Morrow is invited to participate in activities at the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
The winner will be announced Jan. 4, 2013.
Keller Timber Creek can advance to the playoffs for the first time in the school's three-year history with a victory over Keller Fossil Ridge.
Both teams are 3-6 overall and 3-3 in District 4-5A, and the winner will be the Division II runner up.
"Before the season if you would have told me it would come down to the last game and we'd have a chance to go I would of taken it," Timber Creek coach Kevin Golden said. "It's very exciting for the kids, the energy has been amazing and it's really been fun the last couple days."
Timber Creek set up the showdown by defeating Keller 35-28 last week, while Fossil Ridge is coming off a 70-7 loss to Southlake Carroll.
"Ever since we started the school these guys have never quit, they have never given up," Golden said. "When we first started we took it on the chin pretty hard. These guys are so resilient."
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
Twitter: @Johnson Jarret
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