Wildcats still in hunt for playoff berth
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Nov. 5, 2005 - TEXARKANA - Don't look now, but the Sulphur Springs Wildcats are still in the hunt for a playoff berth.

Even having lost three district games in a row, the Wildcats can still get into the postseason with a little help on Friday.

Essentially, the following has to happen for the Wildcats (2-7 overall, 1-3 in District 11-4A) to get into the playoffs, based on the districts' tie-breakers of head-to-head results and the 21-point maximum point system:

Texas High (9-0, 4-0) must beat Paris (6-3, 2-2).

Lindale (7-2, 2-2) must beat Mount Pleasant (4-5, 1-3).

Sulphur Springs must beat North Lamar (6-2, 2-2) by more than 12 points.

If allof that happens, then Texas High, Lindale and Sulphur Springs would be the playoff representatives. If any of that does not occur, then the Wildcats are out of the playoff picture regardless of whether they beat North Lamar.

"Really, in the big picture of things, this game really didn't matter at all when it comes to that scenario," SSHS head coach Greg Owens said after Friday's loss to Texas High. "As crazy as it all is, you have to figure out a point system and see if we can pull something off next week against North Lamar.

"Let's finish strong and just try to finish well."

Texas High has clinched the district championship and will be the Division I representative from 11-4A. The other five teams in the district are all still mathematically alive for the postseason.

The full scenario for all the teams will be in Monday's edition.

HARD-NOSED - Scouts from other teams have been impressed with the all-out playing style of sophomore Quentin Long. The 5-7 running back blocked an extra point attempt and had 98 all-purpose yards (79 kickoff return, 5 rushing, 14 receiving), the most of anyone on the team. Rodney Evans also blocked an extra point attempt. ... Seven different players caught passes for the Wildcats. Long, Jon Young and B.J. Rodgers caught one pass each. ... Punter Jon Holt had two punts downed inside the 20-yard line. ... Sulphur Springs fumbled the ball seven times, losing three of them.

HARD TO READ - Texas High QB Ryan Mallett has thrown 26 TD passes and just three interceptions all season. He matched his career-high of five TD passes on Friday - a mark he set last year against Sulphur Springs and tied last week versus Lindale. ... The Wildcats' mark of negative-58 yards rushing against T-High erased the 35-year-old record of negative-34 yards set against Daingerfield in 1971. ... The Wildcats had at least one play for negative yardage in every possession except the final one.

BRING IT BACK - Texas High's Joe Anderson took a punt back 68 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, but the play was negated for blocking in the back. The Wildcat defense then made a stand, with A.D. Miles forcing a fumble which was recovered by Josh Dunn. ... Offensive guard Kevin Rape recovered an SSHS fumble in the third quarter and tried to advance it, but was tackled for a loss. Rape also had a great hit on Marquicce Jones, who was returning an interception in the fourth period. ... SSHS and Texas High had four straight possessions in the second half that ended in turnovers.

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