Four teams. One spot.
The only question left is does the district have one last surprise left in the 2013 season? Harker Heights certainly hopes so.
The Knights aren’t shy about pointing out the symmetry between this roller coaster season and where it will end for either them or Copperas Cove tonight.
Heights began the season with a 47-31 loss to Round Rock Stony Point at Hood Stadium, a game in which the Knights saw a 7-point halftime lead turn into a 16-point defeat.
Hood Stadium was also the site of the first surprise of the 8-5A season when Killeen stunned Cove and the rest of the district by toppling the heavily-favored Bulldawgs, 47-38, in both teams’ district opener.
It was the first time a Killeen ISD team had beaten Cove since 1998. The Roos hadn’t defeated Cove since 1995.
A week after its monumental win against Cove this season, that same Killeen team rolled into Leo Buckley Stadium -- and promptly lost to then-winless Heights.
The rest of the district stunners are well-documented.
There was Temple pounding a Belton team that was unbeaten in league play at the time, announcing itself as a candidate for the district crown even without injured Baylor commit Chad President under center.
And, of course, there was Shoemaker handing Waco Midway its first district loss since 2011 in a 7-3 stunner on the road.
Heights has now seen all of these teams except Cove, and the Knights have been competitive, holding leads in each game besides a loss to Shoemaker.
Back in August, it would have been hard to picture Heights with a shot at the playoffs with just two wins entering the final week of the regular season.
Yet with a victory today and a Temple win against Killeen, Heights is in.
The Knights won’t be the only team taking the field at Hood Stadium needing help to reach the postseason.
Cove needs a win and that same Temple victory to clinch a playoff berth in a season in which the Bulldawgs were expected to compete for a district title.
Like Heights, the Bulldawgs have been close is certain losses, most notably a 42-39 overtime loss to first-place Midway, yet now find themselves in need of a win and help in the final week of the season.
Despite being separated by a game in the standings and being in the same compromising position as far as a playoff berth is concerned, Heights is embracing the underdog mentality against Cove, who has won its district games by an average of three scores.
But part of that mentality is simply focusing on the Knights and not the team across from them.
It will likely take Heights’ finest effort of the season, as the Knights also hinted last week against Midway, to emerge victorious Friday.
The way the Knights see it, one last upset where this roller-coaster season began is a fitting end to an unpredictable season.
Contact Jordan Mason at email@example.com or 254-501-7562