Eastland, Cisco ready for football playoff rematches
CISCO, Texas - The football teams from Eastland and Cisco are especially ready for the Class 3A Division II area round of the high school playoffs. That's because both have a rematch against the same team that ended each other's respective seasons in 2016.
"We've planned around it the whole the playoffs. I think we're ready to come after them this time," Eastland senior receiver and defensive back Bryson Blackwell said.
The Mavericks will square off with Canadian for the second straight year in the area round. Eastland lost last season's meeting 34-20 after getting behind 20-0 in the first quarter.
"Come out and swing first, maybe get them rocked back on their heels a little bit," said Blackwell.
"They're not as good last year, I think," Eastland senior defensive lineman Denver Osteen said. "They've lost some pretty good players, but so have we. I feel like we have a pretty good chance."
Canadian enters the game with an 11-0 record and ranked fifth in the state in Class 3A.
"The way I've always approached it is, what a great opportunity," Eastland head coach James Morton said. "You want a chance to fire a shot that people can hear around the state? This is one of them. They're definitely very good. If your goal is to win a state championship, you're going to play some good people."
Canadian's closest game so this season was a 27-15 win over Childress, which will take on Cisco in the second round on Friday.
"They're a good, physical team," Cisco senior receiver and defensive back Dillon McCoy said. "It should be a good game, not some easy game like a lot of teams have this week."
Cisco and Childress will be anything but easy. Childress is 10-1 this season with its lone loss in the aforementioned game against Canadian.
In 2016, Childress ended the Loboes' season with a 21-14 victory.
"It's been in my mind in the back, but we've got to play every week one week at a time," Cisco senior running back and linebacker Dathan Harding said. "I'm definitely looking for a different outcome this year. We've got to play our hardest."
Cisco and Childress kick-off at 1 p.m. on Friday at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls. Eastland and Canadian start at 2 p.m. at Wolfforth Frenship.