Lovejoy (8-0, 10-0) completed their first undefeated regular season since 2012 with a 31-17 victory over Liberty (5-3, 6-4).
The Leopards will be the top seed in the Class 5A Division II playoffs and will
The Redhawks, meanwhile, will be the fourth seed, meaning a date with champion, but that will not temper their enthusiasm, as they bounce back from a 1-9 campaign to claim their first playoff appearance since 2011.
Liberty hung tough all night long and the game was tied 14-14 in the third quarter, but Lovejoy was able to pull away late.
Quarterback R.W. Rucker threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, but the real workhorse was freshman Matthew Mainord, who had 26 carries for 200 yards.
Redhawks quarterback Will Glatch accounted for 357 total yards and threw a touchdown pass to Preston Urbine, while Evan Stewart added a rushing score for Liberty.
Lebanon Trail (4-4, 6-4) posted a winning overall record for the first time in the program’s short three-year history with a 48-28 win over Prosper Rock Hill on Friday.
The Trail Blazers wasted little time getting started, as Gregory Hatley’s 8-yard touchdown run gave them an early 6-0 lead.
Rock Hill (1-6, 1-7), in just its first varsity season, went down swinging, as Brenner Cox threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Threat to edge ahead, 7-6.
Lebanon Trail came right back, as Hatley scored on a 1-yard run and Parker Mawhee found the end zone from 18 yards out to take a 20-7 lead.
The teams would trade scores during the late stages of the first half.
Ryan Lamb had a 1-yard touchdown for Lebanon Trail, with Brenner Cox doing the same for the Blue Hawks to make it 27-14.
The Trail Blazers would have the final answer before halftime, though, as Drew Martin found Roman Knautz for a 5-yard scoring strike to give them a 34-14 lead t the break.
Rock Hill tried to hang around, as Cox broke free for a 57-yard touchdown run to close the gap to 34-21 early in the third quarter, but that was as close as it would get.
Hatley had a 8-yard scoring run and the Lebanon Trail defense then got into the act, as Aiden Reiter scooped up a fumble and returned it 61 yards to the end zone to push the advantage to 48-21.
The Blue Hawks added one late touchdown when Cox found Aiden Houston for a 8-yard touchdown pass to provide the final margin.
Rowlett (3-2, 4-2) will not be heading to the playoffs for the second straight season but it did finish on a high note with a 20-14 non-district victory over Frisco Memorial on Friday.
The Eagles and Warriors met in a last-minute change after their previously-scheduled games against Lakeview and Frisco, respectively, were canceled due to COVID-19 issues.
Tre Carr threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Caleb Stiggers-Blair and Colton Yarbrough had a 37-yard scoring run for the Eagles.
Memorial countered with a 53-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Flowers to Jeremy Lau and a 52-yard scoring strike from Flowers to Zion Steptoe, but the difference was a pair of field goals from Rowlett’s Jacob Martin, who connected from 23 and 40 yards out.
Denison (5-2, 6-3) secured the third seed in the playoffs with a 55-0 trouncing of Princeton on Friday.
The Yellow Jackets raced to a 41-0 halftime lead and put it in cruise control from there, as Caleb Heavner threw a pair of touchdown passes and Asa Osbourn and Jadarian Price each rushed for a pair of scores.
Lovejoy will look to remain undefeated when it takes on Greenville (4-4) at 7 p.m. Friday at Leopard Stadium.
Frisco (6-1) has not played in two weeks due to COVID-19 complications, but will return to action as the No. 2 seed, which earns it a home game against Royse City (5-3) at 7 p.m. Friday at The Ford Center.
Liberty has been one of the feel-good stories in the area after winning just three total games in the last three seasons, but it is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The Redhawks will face a tough task in their opener against No. 1 Ennis (8-0) at 7:30 p.m. at Lion Memorial Stadium.
In the other playoff match-up, Denison will meet North Forney (8-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at City Bank Stadium.