The postseason may be out of the picture for the Little Elm football team, but there is still more than enough left to play for with one more week left on the docket.
Standing in the Lobos’ way of closing out the 2019 campaign on a high note is one of, if not the, program’s fiercest rivals, The Colony.
It’s a marquee matchup in any sport when these two schools get together, and that certainly holds true on the gridiron with Little Elm posting a 5-4 record during this decade against the Cougars.
And even though playoff-bound The Colony should be the favorites heading into Friday’s contest, anything can happen with these two foes face off on the football field.
“It’s a good rivalry, and it’s always been that way,” said Kendrick Brown, Little Elm head coach. “They’re coming off of a loss, we’re coming off a loss, and both teams will be looking to finish the regular season with a win.”
The Lobos are fresh off of a gut-wrenching defeat a week ago against Heritage, which ultimately diminished their hopes of sneaking into the playoffs.
On the other hand, The Colony also experienced heartbreak last Friday in a 44-37 double-overtime loss at the hands of Independence, which greatly affected its chances of hosting a first-round postseason game.
With that said, both sides will be pulling out all the stops, as the Cougars hope to carry momentum into the big dance, while the Lobos look to leave a strong, lasting impression with their departing seniors.
Although this year’s squad is comprised of mainly underclassmen, including 14 sophomores receiving significant playing time, this marks the end of the road for a few impact seniors such as running back Jordan Hall, defensive end Tyrese Powe and cornerback and wide receiver Ryan Watts.
Watts, an Ohio State commit, will be especially missed after leaving a massive mark over two dominant seasons on both sides of the ball. The four-star recruit has been a force in the secondary and is among the offensive leaders on the team with 23 catches for 457 yards and nine touchdowns thus far, despite coming down with a minor shin injury two weeks ago against Independence.
“You always want to get your best player involved. Each week, that’s part of our plan this week,” Brown said.
Much like it is for any opponent going against the Cougars, pulling off a victory against them starts and ends with limiting their big-play potential as much as possible.
The Colony features three standouts in seniors Keith Miller III, Myles Price and Christian Gonzalez, who are all college-bound at the Division I level.
Although the trio each found the end zone versus the Knights, Brown believes the blueprint Independence displayed defensively in having as many players as possible on the ball at all times just might be the recipe in the Lobos pulling off the upset.
“Independence did a great job of playing team defense,” he said. “Anytime you’re playing an explosive offense you have to do that and have to know where those solid weapons are. Everybody is going to have to run to the football, and we have to be a great tackling team against them.”
Kickoff between Little Elm and The Colony is set for 7 p.m. tonight at the Little Elm ISD Athletic Complex.