The Fossil Ridge football team beat Central, 34-21, last week in a game which started to cast teams into the upper and lower halves of the district.
Well, at least until this week’s slate of games.
The Panthers’ win pushes them to 3-2 in the district standings, in third place behind Denton Ryan and Denton Guyer.
Fossil Ridge now heads to Keller ISD stadium on Friday to play Keller as the visiting team.
A Fossil Ridge win all but guarantees a playoff spot for the Panthers. A loss would leave them knotted with Keller at .500 but give the Indians the tiebreaker.
The advantage was set up with the win over Central in a game which had a playoff feel to it.
“We considered it like a playoff game,” said Fossil Ridge head coach Tony Baccarini. “We were playing at a neutral site [Pennington Field on Saturday due to weather issues on Friday night] and each game now is not any bigger than the rest of them.”
Keller lost to Denton Ryan, 28-10, leaving the Indians at 2-3 in district, 5-3 overall. But a Keller win levels the proverbial playing field.
“With the standings the way they are, we’ll have to win the next two games,” Keller head coach Carl Stralow said. “And, to win two, you have to win one.”
As for tiebreakers, Stralow isn’t too concerned.
“We can only control us. Our job is to win the next two. If you worry about scenarios, it’s going to be over quickly.”
Baccarini agreed with that mindset.
“We control our own destiny and this one could do it for us,” he said of getting to the playoffs.
Timber Creek was able to post a win over Northwest, 45-21, and move the Falcons to 2-3 in District 5-6A. Timber Creek now faces a Denton Guyer team which has shown to be formidable but vulnerable.
“We were very efficient on offense,” Timber Creek head coach Kevin Golden noted.
Braxton Washington, with his 152 yards and two scores, became Timber Creek’s first 1,000-yard rusher.
In balance, Caleb Collins was 7-for-10 passing for 165 yards and a score.
“The guys really wanted to play and I was very proud of that they hit hard and ran hard,” Golden said of the fact the team waited out a two-and-a-half hour delay and finished at 12:30 a.m.
“We did a good job in pass coverage,” Golden added, as the Falcons picked off two Texans passes and Malique Davies returned one for a score.
Timber Creek hopes the physical play carries over to the game with Guyer at home on Thursday.
“They’re very athletic but have nicks and bruises right now like everyone,” Golden said of Guyer. “They’ve had some close games and we’ve had some close games. We’ve got to make it a good, physical, tough game and find ways to make plays.
“It’s the playoffs right now,” Golden said. “If you win, you advance.”
Central, 1-4 after the loss to Fossil Ridge, travels to take on Byron Nelson for a shot to pull themselves up in the standings. They will finish the regular season against Timber Creek.