As the calendar turns to December, that usually means that only the cream of the crop is left in the Class 6A and 5A playoffs.
This, of course, is no ordinary season and the month-long postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the first week of December from state quarterfinal showdowns to simply trying to settle the playoff picture.
Poteet knows it will be representing Mesquite ISD when the Class 5A Division II playoffs get started next week. Mesquit and Horn also have a chance to join the Pirates, but they will all need some help in 10-6A.
Poteet is 7-3 overall and 6-1 in 6-5A Division II. They will take on Kimball (7-1, 6-1) on Friday at Sprague Athletic Complex with the winner claiming the second seed in the playoffs.
Regardless the outcome, the Pirates can certainly use the challenge as they head into the postseason.
In its first year dropping down to Division II, Poteet played a tough game in which it came up just short in a 27-14 loss to district champion South Oak Cliff.
Its other six district games have featured a pair of forfeit wins and four blowouts that saw them outscore their opponents by a combined score of 218-23, with all those points being accounted for by Hillcrest in a 58-23 rout.
Due to the lopsided nature of many of their games, the Pirate starters have often been relaxing by the time the second half rolls around.
Quarterback Jaylond Police has completed 94-of-161 passes for 1,335 yards and 15 touchdowns and has rushed for 429 yards and seven scores.
Xzaveon Jeans (76-392, 5 TDs) and Demarques Taylor (26-259, 2 TDs) have been steady contributors in the ground game, while Marcel Jackson (27-440, 7 TDs), Kennan Puckett (24-194), D’Shaud Turner (17-286, 2 TDs) and Charles Bradley (12-246, 3 TDs) have been the primary targets on the outside.
Nicholas Deville has posted a team-high 46 tackles, with five for loss, Malek Harrison has 35 stops, with a team-best 6.5 for loss, and Taylor and Stephen Kirk, Jr. each have 30 tackles.
Harrison also leads the team with six sacks, while in the secondary, Jeremiah Anukem has one interception and five pass breakups and Reggie Williams has a pick and three breakups.
The Knights are coming off a 30-0 loss to South Oak Cliff, but like Poteet, have had very little problem with the rest of the district, where they have one forfeit win and outscored their other five opponents by a combined score of 230-21.
Quarterback Keith Hargraves has thrown for 812 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception and has also rushed for five scores.
Brandon Epton, Jr., Emerson Price and Jermius Johnson have all been effective running the ball while Poteet will have to be aware of Camo Nelson and Kyron Henderson on the outside.
Deonte’ Davis has a team-best 49 tackles and Jerqualen Parks has two of the team’s six interceptions.
Seeding is not always important when first-round match-ups are concerned, but this one is. The winner of this game will likely take on Burleson in the bi-district round, while the loser gets a strong 7-1 Mansfield Timberview team.
At the start of the week, Mesquite (1-7, 1-4), North Mesquite (2-7, 1-4) and Horn (3-6, 1-4) were all still alive in the playoff race.
The Skeeters entered Monday in control of their own destiny, but instead it is Tyler Legacy (5-4, 2-3) who earned the inside track at the district’s final playoff berth with a 21-7 victory.
The Stallions also played on Monday hoping to pull an upset, but 10-6A champion Rockwall was having none of that idea, as it rolled to a 63-14 win to eliminate North Mesquite from the equation.
Horn was an afterthought in playoff conversations during its 0-4 start, but thrust itself back into the picture with a 18-7 upset of Skyline last Saturday.
The situation will be settled on Saturday, as Mesquite and North Mesquite renew their rivalry at E.H. Hanby Stadium, while the Jaguars travel East to take on the Red Raiders.
Tyler Legacy controls its own destiny and is in with a win on Saturday.
If Horn knocks off the Red Raiders, it opens the door for other scenarios.
If the Skeeters win and the Jaguars win by less than 16 points, then Legacy still qualifies due to head-to-head and/or point differential.
If Horn and North Mesquite win, the Stallions would be eliminated due to point differential and then it would resort back to head-to-head, which would give the final spot to the Jaguars.
If Mesquite wins and Horn wins by 16 points or more, that would eliminate Legacy due to point differential and the Skeeters would claim the final berth due to its head-to-head win over the Jaguars.