Brownsboro's Greg Pearson has spent more time on the telephone than usual this week, but said he doesn't mind because of what many of the calls have been about.
"It's always nice to get calls from other coaches discussing playoff sites," said Pearson, who is 5-3 in his first year with the Bears. "It's a good feeling as a head coach."
Pearson has begun ironing out the details of when and where for potential postseason games.
Now the Bears have to make those plans come to fruition. A win Friday at Crandall will clinch Brownsboro a playoff spot after a year absence, and just as important, assure the Lions their first winning season since 2010.
Brownsboro got its fifth win by going on the road Friday and taking care of Terrell. A year after losing to the Tigers at home 51-27, Pearson said the Bears were determined to take control at the start and not relinquish it.
"I was wondering how their mindset would be," Pearson said. "We went out from the opening kickoff and put together a good first half."
The Bears built a 21-0 lead and Terrell did not threaten Brownsboro after that.
The 42-20 win also evened the Bears' District 8-4A Division I record to 2-2.
Pearson said all focus now turns to the Crandall Pirates, another team that was picked to finish higher than the Bears in preseason.
"We have gotten so much better throughout the season. We were picked to finish last or next to last in all of the polls," Pearson said. "A win Friday would give us six on the year. These kids have come out and earned it."
The game will be big for both teams as Crandall (4-4) is also 2-2 in district. Just like a week ago at Terrell, Pearson said the Bears are the underdog after losing to the Pirates (34-24) a year ago.
Crandall has won its last two games, outscoring its opponents 82-21.
Pearson said the same blueprint is in place for the Pirates that worked so well against Terrell.
"I want us to have the ball first and have a long extended drive and score to where they are always playing catch-up," Pearson said.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pirate Stadium in Crandall.
WHITEHOUSE GRINDS OUT MUCH-NEEDED WIN OVER NACOGDOCHES, EYES POSTSEASON
Adam Cook understands the Whitehouse Wildcats are known for being high-scoring, but as long as his team keeps stacking victories, he will gladly accept what Whitehouse earned on Friday.
Facing a Nacogdoches team that came in scoring 31 points or more in its last four games, the Wildcats limited the Dragons to a season-low 11 in a 14-11 victory.
Both of Whitehouse's touchdowns were scored by running back Clayton Cook, who was recognized Sunday in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and ETFinalScore.com's weekly Top 3. Coach Cook said that only tells half of the story.
"Clayton did a good job whenever he was called on to run the ball, but a lot it had to do with his offensive line," Coach Cook continued. "Our quarterback Jake Clemons also had a good game with no turnovers, and we were backed up a couple times in our own territory and he (made good decisions)."
Whitehouse went in front 7-0 early, and although Nacogdoches got on the board with a field goal, the Wildcats were able to increase their lead to 14-3.
Said Cook of his team's effort: "We punted the ball more than I would've wanted, but we also played great defense and held them several times in the red zone. That was the key. If you play great defense and don't turn it over, you are going to have a chance to win."
Nacogdoches was able to score a touchdown late in the game. The Dragons received a penalty afterward, and rather than enforce in on their ensuing two-point conversion, Cook opted to use it on the kickoff. Nacogdoches converted the two-point play, but the penalty backed the Dragons up too far to attempt an onside kick.
Whitehouse successfully fielded the pooch kick with a little over three minutes to go, leading 14-11.
Wildcats running back Javian Miles made sure Nacogdoches never got the ball back. He continued to move the chains enabling Whitehouse to run out the clock.
The win was Whitehouse's (5-3) second in a row in District 17-5A and moved the Wildcats to within one more win of clinching a playoff. Next up is a road test at Corsicana (5-3, 3-0). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium.
"They're an interesting team and they've won some close ball games," Cook said of Corsicana. "If we come away with a victory Friday, there is still a chance to share the district title. We know we are going to have to put more points on the board this week at Corsicana."
LINDALE AIMS TO SNAP SKID, QUALIFY FOR PLAYOFFS
Lindale coach Chris Cochran said the Eagles were on track to win at Corsicana, save for three specific plays — all of which were touchdowns.
Lindale ended up on the wrong end of a 35-24 score.
"We did everything we wanted to do as far as stopping their quarterback running the ball," Cochran said. "We're disappointed because there were three big plays that we gave up defensively that cost us."
He added the plays were touchdowns of 73, 70 and 67 yards.
"Even if we just defend two of those, we're fine and win the game," Cochran said. "Offensively speaking, we didn't play well in the third quarter. Really overall in the third quarter, offensively and defensively, it just wasn't very good."
The Eagles 4-4 (1-2 in 17-5A) next host Jacksonville with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eagle Stadium. Lindale has dropped two in a row after winning its league opener over Nacogdoches.
"We have an opportunity to bounce back. We've got two losses in a row and this is what we tell our kids all the time, people are watching to see how we respond," Cochran said. "It's now or never. We win this game, and assuming other results go the way we expect them to, we are in the playoffs, and that is a huge deal."