For three quarters, Sweet-water looked like anything but an underdog Friday in its District 4-3A showdown with the Monahans Loboes, piling up a 35-14 advantage that could probably have been even larger.
But the Mustangsâ€™ dream of taking a giant step tow-ard their first playoff berth in four years took a drastic turn in the fourth quarter and resulted in a nightmar-ish finish at Mustang Bowl.
Instead of a Sweetwater blowout, Monahans rose up to score 25 unanswered points and leave the Bowl with a stunning 39-35 win, clinching a postseason spot for the Loboes (5-4 overall, 3-1 in 4-3A).
It all comes down to this: the winner of todayâ€™s Sweetwater vs. Monahans game at Mustang Bowl will take a big step toward and possibly make the playoffs that begin in two weeks.
The teams have identical 2-1 records in District 4-3A and are locked in a second-place tie in the district behind Wylie (3-0) with just two games left.
Sweetwater is seeking its first playoff berth in four years, while Monahans was a state semifinalist this past season and was considered, along with Wylie, the dist-rict favorite by most pre-season prognosticators.
These Highland girls will be competing in a regional cross country meet on Saturday at Arlingtonâ€™s Vandergriff Park along with several Highland boys. From left are Lora Stewart, Maddie Moseley, Kailee Hall, Beth Richburg, Taylar Hammond, Sabrina Romero and Hannah Allen.
The Highland regional boys qualifiers are Sheldon Hall, Eli Shelton, Kevin Box, Brenden Huckabee and Jeremy Hall.
Roscoeâ€™s Mirian Solis will also be competing at the regional cross country meet.
According to the so-called experts, this wasnâ€™t the year Sweetwater was supposed to get back to the playoffs.
Yet thatâ€™s exactly what will happen if the Mustangs (4-4, 2-1) defeat Monahans (4-4, 2-1) Friday at Mustang Bowl in the kind of game that will have a playoff-type atmosphere at kickoff.
â€śThe kids are excited,â€ť coach Shane Mobley said on Wednesday. â€śI think they are going to play with a lot of adrenaline and effort. It should be a good game.â€ť
Highlandâ€™s playoff hopes will be on the line today when the Hornets travel to Ira.
Highland (5-4) is coming off its first loss in six games, a 76-62 setback against Rotan in the Hornetsâ€™ district opener, while Ira is unbeaten at 8-0 and crushed Hermleigh 66-6 in its first district game.
With only three district games and two playoff qualifiers out of the four teams, the Hornets canâ€™t afford another loss. Todayâ€™s game was moved up by one day because both Highland and Ira have several athletes who will in Arlington on Saturday to com-pete in a regional cross country meet.
THURSDAY, NOV. 1
Sweetwater 7th grade teams host Monahans, 4:30 and 5:45 p.m.
Sweetwater 8th grade teams host Monahans, 4:30 and 7 p.m.
Sweetwater freshman and JV teams at Mon-ahans, 5 and 6:30 p.m.
Roscoe junior high teams host Hamlin starting at 4 p.m.
Roscoe JV hosts Hamlin, 6:30 p.m.
Highland junior high plays at Ira, 4 p.m.
Highland JV plays at Ira, 5:30 p.m.
Blackwell junior high plays at Lohn, 6 p.m.
Blackwell JV is idle.
Highland varsity plays at Ira, 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, NOV. 2
Sweetwater varsity will host Monahans, 7:30 p.m.
Bray Amos is the Football Player of the Week for Sweetwater.
Amos, a sophomore wide receiver and def-ensive back, had four catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-9 win against Big Spring, and also recorded four solo tackles with five assisted tackles on defense.