Cove must beat Belton and get help to make the playoffs
By TJ MAXWELL
The Copperas Cove football team has an uphill battle ahead if they are to clinch one of the two remaining playoff spots in the 2017 UIL State Football Playoffs.
“I’m disappointed but I’m excited about the opportunity,” said Cove head football coach and athletic director Jack Welch. “I was down at that time but that’s already gone. We are so focused right now on what we have to do.”
The Dawgs (4-5, 2-3 in District 8-6A) must first travel to Belton to take on the Tigers (6-3, 4-1) in a must-win scenario tonight and they need the Harker Heights Knights (4-5, 2-3) to beat the Killeen Kangaroos (4-5, 2-3) to get that final spot.
Midway (9-0, 5-0) and Belton both clinched spots in the post season, which leaves three teams vying for the two remaining spots.
The Dawgs could have claimed their spot last week but five turnovers, including four in the second half cost them a win over Killeen for the third-consecutive loss to the Kangaroos in a 27-24 heartbreaker.
Ellison and Killeen both hold the tiebreaker over Copperas Cove with head-to-head wins while the Bulldawgs hold the edge over Harker Heights with their week nine win over the Knights.
The Knights and Eagles will face off at Leo Buckley Stadium tonight for a chance to get earn a spot in the playoffs.
If Killeen earns a win over the Knights and the Eagles fall to Midway, it doesn’t matter what happens in Belton because the Eagles would have the same record as Cove and own the tiebreaker.
Win or lose at Midway, the Ellison Eagles (6-3, 3-2) would be in because they own the tiebreakers over the Kangaroos and Bulldawgs.
If Midway beats Ellison, Cove beats Belton and Heights beats Killeen, it will be Midway, Belton, Ellison and Copperas Cove as the 8-6A representatives.
If Ellison, Belton and Harker Heights all win then Elliosn and Heights will clinch.
All other scenarios end up with Ellison and Killeen joining Midway and Belton.
None of those scenarios matter for the Dawgs if they don’t pick up a win at Belton.
“They are a very stout and polished football team and I have a lot of respect for them,” Welch said of the Tigers. “This is quite an opportunity for us and our kids will be ready.”