Written by Corbett Smith
Which high school football game could have major implications in Class 3A?
Playing for keeps: 11 weeks of pivotal games will help decide who ends up at state
Last year, the season finale between Carrollton Ranchview and Aubrey was for pride. Both teams had already been eliminated from playoff contention, and Ranchview picked up its first district victory in a 29-8 win. Both teams finished 2-8.
This season, it might end up as one of the biggest games in the state.
With the addition of a fourth playoff team in Class 3A, the winner will make the playoffs and, in turn, determine the playoff bracket for Argyle — one of the state’s top Class 3A teams. With 668 students in the last realignment, Argyle is the third largest school in a five-team district.
If Aubrey makes the playoffs, Argyle would go into the Division I bracket — with Kilgore, reigning Division I champ Stephenville and Carthage potentially looming as the final three opponents.
If Ranchview qualifies, Argyle would go to Division II — and probably gets a third-round rematch with Region II foe Gilmer. Gilmer beat Argyle, 41-34, en route to the state final.
It’s a possibility that Argyle coach Todd Rodgers and Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor have already discussed.
In February 2012, when the new districts were announced by the UIL, Traylor reached out to Rodgers.
“He was calling for the sole purpose of trying to find out what I thought the order of our district would be,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers said that regardless of playing in Division I or Division II, breaks will need to go his team’s way if it is to win a state title.
“Who knows what might happen?” Rodgers said. “That’s the essence of sports. Sometimes, you need a little bit of good luck.”
And he isn’t the only coach having to take a sideways glance at the upcoming schedule, trying to determine his team’s playoff path. State power Aledo could go in either division in 4A, with the Fort Worth Arlington Heights-Fort Worth Western Hills game perhaps serving as the fulcrum. If Aledo plays in Division I, it would probably face defending champ Denton Guyer in the second round as it did last season, a 42-30 loss.
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