Indians need a win Friday to realistically keep playoff hopes alive

Jacksonville offensive lineman Hagen Ray (74), is pictured blocking Pine Tree's Dealyn Evans (14) of Pine Tree during last week's game in Jacksonville. The Indians host Nacogdoches at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Both teams are 1-5, 1-2.

For a pair of 1-5, 1-2 teams much will be on the line on Friday evening when Jacksonville hosts Nacogdoches. Kick off is slated ofr 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Tomato Bowl.

With the District 9-5A-II campaign being near the halfway point for all of the teams, the cream — Texas High (5-0. 3-0), Marshall (3-3, 3-1) and Pine Tree (3-3, 2-1) has already begun to rise to the top.

And while there is a lot of football yet to be played, at this juncture, it is difficult to phathom this trio not qualifying for the playoffs.

Mount Pleasant is currently 3-3, 2-1, and a case can be made for the Titus County Tigers to be in the playoff mix as well.

Hence if either Pine Tree or Mount Pleasant falter, Jacksonville, Nacogdoches or Hallsville could be in position to contest for the fourth post season spot.

Mt. Pleasant is at Hallsville this week, and the Tigers will be favored.

Following the Hallsville game, the Tigers host Marshall and travel to Pine Tree before ending the regular season by entertaining Jacksonville.

After this weeks game, the Tribe will travel to Texas High, host winless Whitehouse and then trek to Mt. Pleasant to wrap up the regular season.

If the Indians can win three out of their last four games and Mt. Pleasant go 1-3 in its final four district skirmishes, the Indians and the Tigers would end the season with 3-3 district marks, with Jacksonville having the win over the Tigers to break the deadlock.

Naturally, there are a plethora of ifs and buts in that logic, but the first thing that has to happen, realistically, is for the Indians to beast Nacogdoches on Friday.

A loss to the Dragons would force the Indians to win its last three games, just to have a chance at a playoff spot — that scenario would require the Tribe beating undefeated Texas High at Grim Stadium in Texarkana next week — which, right now, is a tall order for any team to complete.

Jacksonville is averaging 351 yards (266 pass, 85 run) of total offense per game compared to the Dragons' 230 yards (132 run, 98 pass).

How well Nacogdoches can defend the pass this week should go along way in determining the final outcome of the game.

In district, the Tribe are averaging 14.1 fewer points than that of the opposition.

Nacogdoches is giving up just 3.3 more points a game, on average, than its district foes.

The Dragons took advantage of a couple of second half miscues by the Indians to win last year's meeting, 28-18.

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