Cumby in good position to grab playoff berth, even with a loss
By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer
Nov. 8, 2007 - CUMBY - The Cumby Trojans head into their regular season finale against the undefeated Quinlan Boles Hornets with a chance at a share of the district title Friday night at Trojan Field.
With four teams in the mix for the three playoff spots, the Hornets (9-0, 4-0) hold a one game lead over the Trojans and the Wolfe City Wolves, who both sit at 3-1 in District 16-Å, and two games over the Celeste Blue Devils at 2-2.
On Friday night, the Wolves travel to Celeste, while Fruitvale hosts Dallas A+ Academy.
"We do not have to win to get in the playoffs and there is a scenario that we could lose and not get in the playoffs but it is a very slim chance," said Cumby head coach Kent Hawthorne.
"The district max for us is 20 points. Right now, we are a plus-20 over Celeste since we beat them by 36. Wolfe City is a plus-20 since they beat us by 25, so we are both plus-20. Celeste is sitting at a minus-20 and they have to beat Wolfe City but they are beat up right now and it might be hard for them. All of us are playing for a district championship, a playoff spot and for a better record so I don't see anybody tanking it this week."
After watching the film of the Wolfe City game, Hawthorne said distractions and a talented Wolves team proved to be too much for the Trojans
"We did not have a good week last week," the coach said. "We had a lot of distractions and it seemed like anything that could go wrong during the week went wrong during the week. The kids seemed to be pumped up for the game and we moved the ball most of the night. We just could not find a way to stop them during the night."
With a defensive unit that has only given up 92 points all season long, the Hornets return defensive back Justin Overly from an injury suffered during their game against Maud.
"This week, we are playing the best team in the area without a doubt," he said. "We will have to play a perfect football game and they will have to underestimate us but we have a chance this week. We are going in with a positive attitude."
Offensively, the Hornets are led by senior fullback Robert Liebel and junior tailback Joe Gilliard, though neither suited up in their game last Friday night. The offense has scored a total of 426 points this season, an average of 47.3 points per game.
"He (Coach Todd Wallace) has the right frame of mind when he says that he is going to control the ball and keep our offense off of the field," Hawthorne said. "We feel the same way and we want to keep them off of the field. Our kids know what is in store and they are showing up and getting better.
"Our kids have had good practices and we have a good game plan. We feel like if we can match up with them, which is going to be tough because they are bigger than we are and they are strong and they have speed. They have a lot of deception involved and you have to be disciplined to control that. No one has been able to stop them this year so we will have to see what happens."