By SCOTT TYLER
H-P Sports Editor
When a pair of Dogwood Circle teams — Cayuga and Grapeland — match up Friday night, one team will try to clinch a playoff spot while the other team tries to cling onto any hopes of making the postseason.
Cayuga (2-1, 6-2) will clinch a playoff spot if the Wildcats win Friday night. For Grapeland, the Sandies (1-2, 2-6) must win if they have any hopes of staying in the playoff race.
“This game is going to be a battle of two teams who are trying to put themselves in position to make the playoffs,” Cayuga head coach Tommy Allison said. “We need to get back on track and in position to make the playoffs.”
Cayuga wants to get back to the winning ways after falling to Alto 51-0 Friday night.
“I was very disappointed in the way we performed last week,” Allison said. “I did not think we played up to the best of our abilities.”
Grapeland also is coming off a tough 18-9 loss to Cushing as the Bearkats scored 12 points in the fourth quarter to rally and win.
“I think they are a much better football team than their record indicates,” Allison said. “They are big up front and have very skilled athletes.”
Grapeland has been solid for most of the season on defense, allowing 185.5 yards and 18 points a game.
“Their line does a great job freeing up their linebackers, who pursue to the football very well,” Allison said.
Cayuga will try to get an offense that averages 389 yards a game back on track as the Wildcats only had 146 total yards against Alto.
Sophomore running back Traylon Shead was held to under 100 yards and no touchdowns for the first time last week. On the season Shead is rushing for 1,739 yards and 20 touchdowns.
“We are going to have to execute on offense and limit our mistakes,” Allison said.
Frankston at Malakoff
The Frankston Indians have a chance to clinch a playoff berth Friday night for the first time in three years.
Frankston heads into the second to final week of the season tied with Mildred at the top of the District 20-2A standings with Kerens, who is idle this week, a half game out and Italy a game behind.
A Frankston win and an Italy loss to Blooming Grove Friday night will put the Indians into the postseason.
The Indians have reeled off three straight wins since opening the district schedule with a loss to Mildred. In the three wins, the Indians have outscored their opponents 132-59.
The success on offense in the last three games has coincided with putting running backs Ketrich Harmon and Marcel Ingram in the backfield at the same time. Friday night in Frankston’s 42-8 win over Rice, the running duo combined for 389 yards and five touchdowns.
On the season Harmon has rushed for 1,334 yards and 15 touchdowns and Ingram has 583 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Malakoff (1-3, 1-7) has struggled on defense this season allowing over 30 points in each but one game — a 19-6 win over Rice.
Elkhart at Riesel
On their final road trip of the season, the Elkhart Elks are hoping for their first win.
Elkhart (0-5, 0-8) will travel to Riesel Friday night to face the 2-3, 2-6 Indians.
The Elks’ offensive struggles continued last week against Centerville as Elkhart managed only 46 total yards on a shutout loss.
Riesel earned its second win of the season Friday, 17-13 over Leon. Heston Krumnow caught a 50-yard touchdown from Ben Hayden in the fourth quarter to take the lead and John Crawford intercepted a pass with 1:40 left in the game to seal the win.
Oakwood at Cushing
The Oakwood Panthers will try to play the spoiler roll Friday night when they travel to Cushing.
Oakwood (2-6, 0-3) can put a dent in Cushing’s (2-1, 5-3) playoff hopes with a win Friday night.
To slow down the Bearkats, Oakwood will have to try and stop running back Jimmy Sustaita. The Cushing senior rushed for 181 yards on 32 carries and scored a rushing touchdown and returned an interception for a touchdown in a 18-9 comeback win over Grapeland Friday night.
Oakwood is coming off a 21-8 loss to Cross Roads as the Panthers’ Mike Savage rushed for 32 yards on 11 carries. On the season Savage has rushed for 760 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Leon at Buffalo
The Buffalo Bison have had their struggles this year, but a bright spot could come Friday night if the Bison can defeat long time rival Leon.
Buffalo (0-5, 0-8) had to play the top three teams in the district the last three games, including a 44-0 loss to undefeated Mart Friday night. The Bison have only scored 44 points this season and have allowed 293 points.
Leon (1-4, 2-6) also has had a down season with its only district win coming against Elkhart. The Cougars suffered a 17-13 loss to Riesel Friday night as Leon let a fourth-quarter lead slip away. In the loss, Johnny Guevara had 63 rushing yards and Taylor Reeves had 51 rushing yards.
By SCOTT TYLER
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