By JUSTIN RAINS
It’s been a bit of a rough season for first-year Elkhart coach Sam Wells in his new post.
His Elks enter the season’s final week at 2-7 and, even with a high-powered offense, haven’t been able to string any wins together.
Despite all that, however, playoff hope springs eternal in Elkhart. A little needs to go their way, but the Elks aren’t out of the postseason hunt by a long shot.
“There’s not doubt it’s huge,” Wells said of having something to play for in Week 10. “These kids have never had an opportunity going into the last week to make the playoffs. Kids are excited and that’s the direction we want to go, to be in this to the end.”
According to Wells, Elkhart gets into the playoffs with a win over Trinity and a Crockett loss to Westwood, or by beating Trinity by at least 14 points to win the district’s tiebreaker.
A Trinity win seals up the playoff berth for the Tigers, while a Crockett win combined with an Elkhart win by less than 14 puts the Bulldogs in.
The high-powered Elkhart offense may have its hands full with Trinity, which is giving up less than 30 points per game on the season.
“Trinity is a very good defensive team and their defensive line is really good,” Wells said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us offensively to stay on blocks and to get Jeffrey (Wilson) lose.”
Getting Wilson lose has seemed like an easy thing for the Elks to do this season, especially in district play.
Only once in district has the star junior not gone over 300 yards rushing in a game, when he ran for 295 against Teague.
In last week’s win over Westwood, Wilson ran for 334 yards and six touchdowns, and also threw a 40-yard touchdown pass.
The Tigers may be the weakest offense in a district filled with teams that can fill up scoreboards.
Trinity has yet to score more than 22 points in district, and have only scored more than that two other times this season. One came in a 41-16 win over Grapeland, and the other came in a 48-24 loss to Kountze.
“I think we’ve been playing pretty well against spread teams lately,” Wells said. “We just have to try and bottle them up and keep them in front of us and then make tackles. Hopefully we can cause a few turnovers and get some extra possessions.
On the other hand, Elkhart is averaging more than 30 points per game in district.
Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Trinity’s Tiger Stadium (Hwy. 94, Trinity, Texas 75862).
Sports editor Justin Rains can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org