Copperas Cove has three games remaining in the regular season, but only one matters at the moment.
The Bulldawgs own one of the most impressive playoff streaks in the area, advancing to the postseason in 18 of the previous 20 years, including a dozen consecutive appearances from 2004 through 2015.
But Copperas Cove’s hopes of returning are in jeopardy.
The Bulldawgs’ fate hinges greatly on the outcome of tonight’s home contest against Harker Heights, and while a win guarantees nothing, a loss would be costly.
Copperas Cove (4-3 overall) enters the matchup with a 2-3 record in District 12-6A, positioning it in sixth place with three games remaining.
With district unbeatens Waco Midway (5-1, 5-0) and Temple (7-0, 5-0) having seemingly secured their postseason spots, and Belton (5-2, 4-1) needing just one more victory to clinch a playoff berth, the Bulldawgs are chasing Killeen and Ellison.
The Kangaroos (4-4, 3-3) and the Eagles (3-5, 3-3) are tied for fourth.
Killeen and Ellison play on Nov. 2, ensuring one team earns at least four district victories this season, and while Copperas Cove could potentially still reach four wins with a loss to the Knights, it would require the Bulldawgs to beat the Wildcats in the finale.
Even with upsetting Temple, should the Kangaroos beat the Eagles in the scenario, Killeen holds the head-to-head tiebreaker against Copperas Cove thanks to a 48-14 victory on Sept. 21.
The only way the Bulldawgs qualify
for the playoffs with a loss to Harker Heights is if they conclude the seasons with wins against both Shoemaker and Temple while Ellison loses to Belton tonight and beats the Kangaroos.
The outcomes would leave Copperas Cove and Ellison tied with the Bulldawgs holding the tiebreaker by virtue of a their 53-26 win against the Eagles on Sept. 27.
If either Ellison or Killeen wins out, Copperas Cove would be eliminated from playoff contention assuming it loses to Harker Heights tonight.
Defeating the Knights, however, completely changes the postseason outlook for the Bulldawgs.
So, although Copperas Cove has three games remaining in the regular season, only one matters at the moment.