By Kirk Dooley
Although the Scots have clinched a share of the district championship and will be the number one seed in the first round of the playoffs next week, this last district game against the J.J. Pearce Mustangs in Richardson will have special meaning.
The Mustangs are fighting for the fourth playoffs spot from district 7-6A. Highland Park, Jesuit and Lake Highlands have the first three playoff spots locked up. The fourth playoff team will be either Richardson Berkner, Irving MacArthur or Richardson Pearce.
You would need to talk with a Talented and Gifted math wiz to understand all the possible playoff outcomes of this Friday’s games. But instead, all you got here is me, and I think here’s all you need to know: Pearce will make the playoffs if they beat Highland Park and MacArthur beats Berkner.
So this final district game will have meaning because Pearce will attack like warriors on a mission. A win over the Scots could qualify them for the playoffs (see paragraph above) and would make their season a success. They might even storm the field if the lifeboats are deployed at Eagle-Mustang Stadium.
That’s right. There is a 90 percent chance of rain this Friday. And for the handful of loyal Scots fans who braved the weather last Friday at Highlander Stadium, another rain event like that could put them over the edge.
I’ve never seen this before but in last week’s downpour of a high school football game, there were more Richardson players on the field than there were Richardson fans in the stands. And the Highland Park stands weren’t much more populated. The Belles, the band and the cheerleaders were all dismissed and watched the game on big-screen TVs in their warm, dry living rooms. Even sideline reporter Jae Ellis was so lonely that he was interviewed because there was nobody else on the sideline to interview.
So what about the Pearce Mustangs? They are 4-3 in district play. They have beaten Nimitz, MacArthur, Richardson and Irving. They’ve lost to Jesuit, Lake Highlands and Berkner. Their most spectacular game was a 55-49 overtime win over MacArthur. Quarterback Presley Harper threw fore 299 yards and three touchdowns, including a fourth down, 14-yard strike to Caden Varner with two minutes left in the game to tie the score at 49-49.
With seconds left on the clock, MacArthur’s Darelle Smith scored on a dramatic 38-yard run to win the game but wait, there was a flag on the play. Holding. Bring it back. Hello overtime.
In overtime Pearce recovered a MacArthur fumble then Mustangs running back Ryan Williams (who ran for 155 yards that night) scored on a 14-yard waltz to win the game..
Last week Pearce scored 45 points against Irving so they’ve got some offensive momentum and confidence.