Mesquite ISD has had at least one representative in the football playoffs in every season since 2003 and one has to go back to 1991 for the last time it missed out prior to that.
This is usually the time of the year where the playoffs picture has taken shape, but of course, this season has been anything but normal.
If the season were to end today, MISD would be represented by a pair of teams with Poteet and North Mesquite.
However, with still one month left in the regular season, there is still a lot to be decided, and as the Pirates and Stallions try to solidify their holds, Mesquite, Horn and West Mesquite are hoping to make a late push.
Poteet was presented with a different district landscape as it dropped down to 6-5A Division II. The Pirates left the rigors of the very difficult 7-5A Division I to a friendlier set-up with eight Dallas ISD programs.
Poteet’s nine-team district is further along than many and the Pirates already have four games under their belts as they head into their bye week.
Despite last week’s 27-14 loss to South Oak Cliff, Poteet is still in good shape, tied for third place with Seagoville at 3-1, with both teams just behind the Bears and Kimball, who are both 3-0.
Every other team in the district has at least two losses and none have been able to put up much of a fight against the top four.
The Pirates still have tough games against Seagoville and Kimball on the horizon, but it is hard to see them falling back and those games will likely be for playoff seeding.
The road to the playoffs is not as clear for the other four MISD teams.
In 10-6A, North Mesquite is off to a 1-0 start, but only has the one district game against Horn. The Jaguars and Skeeters, meanwhile, are both 0-2 and this Friday’s game could essentially be a playoff-elimination game.
Rockwall (5-1, 2-0) is coming off a 57-0 rout of Mesquite a week ago and its high-powered offense shows no signs of slowing down.
The same could be said of Rockwall-Heath (4-2, 1-1), who bounced back from a loss to the Yellowjackets by scoring 69 points against Horn last week.
Skyline made a statement a week ago with a 30-24 win over Tyler Legacy to improve to 2-0, while the Red Raiders are still in the thick of it having played just one district game.
Given the way the top three teams have played, it is hard to see them faltering, likely leaving just one remaining spot.
If MISD is to grab that berth, it could be decided in the two next two weeks. In addition to this week’s clash between the Stallions and Jaguars, Mesquite and North Mesquite are also scheduled to resume their rivalry the following Friday.
West Mesquite knew its first season under head coach Frank Sandoval would be a tough one in 7-5A Division I.
Longview (2-0) and Highland Park (1-0) are traditional powerhouses and many believe their head-to-head showdown this week will determine the district championship.
McKinney North was expected to take a step back, but is also off to a 2-0 start, while none of the other teams have won a district contest.
The Wranglers (0-6) have lost both district games, but showed how close they are in last week’s 35-32 loss to the Bulldogs.
Despite the tough start, West Mesquite could get things turned around, and its playoff fortunes will be determined in its games against Tyler, Wylie East and Sherman, starting with a road date with the Lions on Friday.