We take our coffee black.
The famous line from the 1992 movie GlenGarry Glen Ross is “Coffee is for Closers.” Then there’s ABC — “Always Be Closing.”
If you look at how we performed in Week 10 of the 2017 Northeast Tarrant high school football season, we were good enough to head to the break room, go to the coffee pot and find that big mug in the cabinet to pour the cup proudly.
We brought it in at 11-1. You could say we’re finishing exactly like how some of our area playoff teams are finishing. Colleyville Heritage is charging into the postseason. Keller Fossil Ridge is trying to go undefeated for the first time in school history.
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There really isn’t much postseason drama surrounding this area as we reach the final week of the final week of the regular season. Haslet V.R. Eaton and Justin Northwest are still alive for that last playoff spot in District 6-5A, along with Azle.
That district operates out of a plus-18 points tiebreaker. Azle is plus 7 because it beat Eaton, 24-17. Eaton is plus 14 because it defeated Northwest, 58-44. We’ll run through the combos later in the week. But just know that Northwest needs a three-way tie at 3-4 and then to beat Azle by 15 points in order to advance.
District 3-6A is pretty simple. If Haltom and Keller win their games, they clinch. Keller Timber Creek has to win and then have some help.
The NET playoff teams postseason bound are: Southlake Carroll, Colleyville Heritage, Birdville, Grapevine, Keller Fossil Ridge, Keller Central, Birdville, Richland and Trophy Club Byron Nelson. We’re going to get at least two more in between Haltom, Timber Ceek and Keller.
Let’s get going with the picks. Everybody is in action because Weatherford has the final bye in District 3-6A. Tough 2017 for the Kangaroos as they finished 0-10.
Last week: 11-1
Season: 90-19 (.826)
Haltom (5-4, 3-2 3-6A) at Keller Central (6-3, 4-1 3-6A); 7 p.m. Thursday, Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: The Chargers are going Division II in the playoffs and are in the postseason for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. If they Buffalos win, they are going D1 and would return to the postseason for the first time since 2009. Haltom has started to run out of gas. The Chargers aren’t taking the week off. They want some momentum.
Prediction: Keller Central 26, Haltom 21
Haslet V.R. Eaton (4-5, 3-3 6-5A) at White Settlement Brewer (6-3, 4-2 6-5A); 7 p.m. Friday, Bear Stadium, White Settlement: The Eagles have been riding the wave of junior running back Titus Swen this season. The passing game has been pretty much a secondary component. Brewer is a pretty solid team with a dynamic passing attack.
Prediction: White Settlement Brewer 35, Haslet V.R. Eaton 21
Azle (4-5, 3-3 6-5A) at Justin Northwest (5-4, 2-4 6-5A); 7 p.m. Friday, NISD Stadium, Justin: Besides needing to win on Friday to have a chance, the big question surrounding the Texans is the status of quarterback Prince Mavula. He was ejected in the second half of last week’s loss at Aledo. Per district rules, Mavula is not forced to sit out the first half. Head coach Bill Poe has to decide what’s in the best interest of the program. Azle’s defense is pretty solid. We’re going to presume Mavula plays and serves his penance during the week.
Prediction: Justin Northwest 32, Azle 22
Richland (8-1, 5-1 8-5A) at Colleyville Heritage (8-1, 6-0 8-5A); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Mustang-Panther Stadium, Grapevine: The Panthers are trying to win an outright district championship. The Rebels want to share it. Both teams are in the postseason. Colleyville Heritage is going Division I. Richland is going Division II. The Panthers are just deeper and have more options at the skill positions.
Prediction: Colleyville Heritage 45, Richland 24
Grapevine (7-2, 5-1 8-5A) at Birdville (4-5, 4-2 8-5A); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Birdville FAAC, North Richland Hills: The Mustangs know they’re going Division II. The Hawks know they’re going Division I. Grapevine quarterback Alan Bowman plays his final regular season game as a Mustang.
Prediction: Grapevine 33, Birdville 17
Keller Timber Creek (6-3, 2-3 3-6A) at Abilene (2-7, 1-4 3-6A); 7:30 p.m. Shotwell Stadium, Abilene: The Falcons are in desperation mode. They don’t control their destiny. They’ll know where they stand by Haltom’s outcome Thursday. If the Buffalos win, then the Falcons know they’re out. Keller’s outcome with Fossil Ridge wouldn’t matter, because the Indians won the head-to-head matchup with the Falcons. But there’s a game to play. Might as well compete.
Prediction: Keller Timber Creek 24, Abilene 20
Keller Fossil Ridge (9-0, 5-0 3-6A) vs. Keller (5-4, 3-2 3-6A); 7:30 p.m. Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller: The oldest rivalry in Keller renews. If you’re the Indians, you would love to win this for two reasons. You win and you clinch. You win and you also ruin the Panthers’ bid at their first 10-0 season in school history. These have typically been great games. But I think the Panthers are just playing at a higher level.
Prediction: Keller Fossil Ridge 37, Keller 30
Euless Trinity (7-2, 6-0 5-6A) at Flower Mound Marcus (4-5, 2-4 5-6A); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Marauder Stadium, Flower Mound: Trinity is going for an outright district championship. They have been impressive thus far. There’s really nothing on the line for either team. The Marauders are out. It hasn’t been the season first-year Marcus coach Kevin Atkinson hoped it would be.
Prediction: Euless Trinity 34, Flower Mound Marcus 16
Trophy Club Byron Nelson (3-6, 3-3 5-6A) at Hurst L.D. Bell (1-8, 0-6 5-6A); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Pennington Field, Bedford: Again, another contest where there is nothing on the line. Nelson knows it’s the No. 2 seed in Division II. The Blue Raiders were admirable against Carroll. However, they just have not had many answers.
Prediction: Trophy Club Byron Nelson 26, Hurst L.D. Bell 18
Carroll (7-2, 5-1 5-6A) at Lewisville Hebron (7-2, 5-1); 7:30 p.m. Friday, Hawk Stadium Carrollton: The Dragons likely won’t have running back T.J. McDaniel (thumb) until the playoffs. Hebron is set as the No. 2 seed in Division I. In fact, they have to get ready to play Allen next week. Hebron is four points away from being undefeated.
Prediction: Lewisville Hebron 28, Carroll 21
Let’s win them all!