It’d be easy to predict a logjam behind Waco Midway when the dust finally settles from the District 8-5A football season.
But the fact of the matter is there has been a logjam behind Midway since the second week of district play.
Each week of district play has featured four teams with identical district records, and this week is no different.
If Harker Heights, Copperas Cove, Shoemaker and Belton win this week there will be five teams with 3-2 district records with two weeks left in the regular season.
At this rate, it appears at least two teams will be fighting for the final playoff spot, but that number can easily grow if there are any surprises left on the 8-5A schedule.
If any teams can tell you how thin of a line teams are walking these days in 8-5A it is Heights and Belton.
In Week 4, the two teams engaged in one of the signature games of the district season as Belton erased a 17-point halftime deficit to hand the Knights a district-opening loss.
The Tigers followed that by coming from behind again to defeat Ellison, putting them in sole possession of second place in the district.
The joy was short-lived, however, as Belton has now lost two straight by an average of 30.5 points per game, and find themselves needing a strong finish to even make the postseason.
Perhaps the team that can most closely relate to the Tigers’ circumstances is the same team it defeated in that fateful district opener.
Heights rebounded from its loss to Belton with impressive wins against Killeen and Ellison to move into a tie for second with four games to play in the regular season.
That is no longer the case after Heights lost to Shoemaker last week, a game in which senior running back Marcus Anderson II didn’t play after injuring his ankle against Ellison.
Coach Jerry Edwards said Anderson II is healthy and ready to go today, and the Knights can certainly use him with perhaps the stiffest schedule to end the season of anyone in 8-5A.
The Knights host Temple today then visit first-place Midway before playing Cove at Hood Stadium to end the season.
That’s the top two teams in 8-5A currently plus a Cove team that is playing as well as any team at this point in the season.
Yet with four teams vying for two spots — and it can easily be more with Ellison being the only team guaranteed to finish with a losing district record — Heights needs a strong finish to the season to make the playoffs.
Belton, coincidentally, faces a similarly tough slate with Killeen, Shoemaker and Midway on the schedule.
But the true irony is that no team has an easy path to the playoffs.
If that was the case then there wouldn’t be four teams with identical district records.
Perhaps it’s best to simply sit back and enjoy one of the closest district races in the state.
That is until a tiebreaker is needed to decide the final playoff teams. And that’d only be fitting. The district has literally been knotted up since the second week of district play.
Contact Jordan Mason at email@example.com or 254-501-7562