The phrase, “It all comes down to this,” is one sports term that tends to be used too often on last second shots of close games during the NCAA Tournament or NBA Playoffs. Truth be told, I have come to despise that phrase and consider it to be sports jargon to be avoided like the plague. So it is with much chagrin that tonight I tell you the 3-6A playoffs all comes down to this Friday’s games. Who will represent 3-6A in the state playoffs? Who will be in what division? Does a winless Odessa High team still factor into this weeks results? These answers, and other questions that people might ask, will hopefully be answered tonight.
Let’s start with the District Championship: Odessa Permian at San Angelo Central. Permian enters the week ranked No. 7 in the state and with the districts top rushing attack. They also enter having clinched a playoff birth two weeks ago and a share of the district title last weekend. San Angelo Central comes in with the district’s top passing attack. Looking at Central throughout the year, their scoring drives have been averaging just under four minutes. The quick strike has kept them in every game, but it has also cost them against Abilene High.
While both teams have focused on their offenses, the defenses shouldn’t be underestimated. Permian leads the district in forced turnovers with an average of two a game. Central is third in the district in total defense. In a game where every possession will count, the game could easily be determined by who commits fewer turnovers or special teams blunders. Here’s the basic breakdown. Both Permian and San Angelo Central have clinched playoff births, but there is still everything for both of them to play for.
A win by Permian will give them an undefeated season at 10-0 and the district title outright. A win by San Angelo Central will give them a share of the district title, but more importantly it would give Central a guaranteed first round home playoff game against 4-6A. That’s right. Both schools are playing for the district title and for the right to host the first round. You can find more information and a game breakdown by Jeff Cerda in this weeks Odessa Permian/San Angelo Central game preview. In the end, I believe Permian’s lethal O and D combo keeps them undefeated. PERMIAN 38, CENTRAL 27
Those wishing to listen in on the game can do so on KHKX 99.1 FM (kicks99.net) or on KIXY 94.7 FM (kixyfm.com).
Up next lets head to Midland. Midland Lee is striving for a .500 record in the regular season, but more importantly they are striving for a winning district record. Midland High is striving for their second district win. Lee comes in with an upset over Abilene and an OT loss to Central. Midland High comes in with blowout losses to both. In a game where both teams focus on the run, you can expect a fast moving game. What’s key in this game will be whomever controls the time of possession will likely win, and the winner will likely clinch a playoff birth. That’s right. Despite a 1-3 record in district play, Midland High can still clinch a playoff birth and send Lee home for the playoffs with a win over Lee and an Abilene High win. A win by Midland High and an Abilene High loss would place all three teams at 2-3 in District, and Midland High could only advance via point differential rule if they win by 9+.
With that being said, Midland Lee’s defense has been forcing an average of two turnovers a game since they got past Permian. Midland High has been committing an average of two to three per game, and their defense has been unable to consistently force turnovers. Expect turnovers to decide the victor here, and I’m giving the advantage to Lee. LEE 30, MIDLAND HIGH 17
The game will be on two radio stations locally, KODM 92.3 FM (lonestar92.com) and KCRS 95.5 FM (Odessa), 97.5 FM (Midland) and 550 AM (newstalkkcrs.com).
Finally we have Abilene High at Odessa High. Once again Odessa High comes into the week not knowing whom will be starting at QB and knowing their opposition has the ability to use a balanced attack. Will Odessa High focus on the running of senior Sebastian Galindo in his final game as a Broncho? Will they change things up and focus on the passing attack of senior Nick Adams or junior Johnathan Franco? Will they actually be able to convert 3rd downs and keep Abilene High off the field? Before the season began, I had Odessa High pegged as a 0 or 1 win team in district play. I figured that 1 win would come against either Midland Lee or Midland High. I don’t see much hope for them against an Abilene High team that knows if they win, they will be in the playoffs. I expect another Odessa High massacre. ABILENE HIGH 24, ODESSA HIGH 13
The game will be on KMCM 96.9 FM 997gold.com) and on KZQQ 1560 AM (radioabilene.com or tsrnsports.com).
So to break it down:
IF PERMIAN wins-
Permian has already clinched the #1 3-6A spot in the large school division of the playoffs. They would host a 1st Round playoff match at Ratliff the following weekend. Central has already won the #1 spot in the small school division.
If San Angelo Central wins-
Permian is still the #1 school in the large division and Central is still the #1 school in the small division, but Central would be guaranteed a 1st round home playoff match.
If ABILENE HIGH wins-
Abilene High is in the playoffs and will be the #2 school in the small division.
If MIDLAND HIGH wins with an Abilene High win-
Midland High would be the #2 school in the large division.
If MIDLAND HIGH wins and Abilene High losses-
It comes down to points. At +14 Abilene High would be in. Currently Midland Lee is at +1 and Midland High is at -15. Midland High would need to win by 9 points to lower both them and Lee to -7, where they would advance via head-to-head. A win by any less would eliminate Midland High. Regardless of the points, either Midland Lee or Midland High will be the #2 school in the large division and Abilene will be the #2 school in the small division.
If Midland Lee wins-
They are in the playoffs no matter what and are the #2 school in the large division.
Enjoy your Friday.