Riverfield Academy coach Boyd Cole believes – and he’s probably right – that his Raiders are one unlikely successful field goal and one successful two-point conversion from being in the top five or six in the Class AAA bracket.
Standing at 6-3 as opposed to the all-too-possible 8-1, the Raiders are forced to take to the road in the first round to meet 10-0 Indianola Academy.
“They don’t do anything flashy. They run at right at you, then they go out wide. They run a base defense and they run it well,” Cole said. “They don’t do a lot of flashy stuff, they’re just a good football team.”
Riverfield goes into the playoffs after a tough 40-39 loss to St. Aloysius, its second loss of the season by that score, but Cole likes his team’s attitude in preparation thus far.
“The kids have handled it well,” Cole said. “They played well. When we were down 40-26, they had a chance to quit. They didn’t, and we had a chance to win it at the end.
“If your kids believe they can win, that’s 90 percent of the ball game. I know they’re going to be ready to play.”
PVA hosts in first round
Prairie View Academy, fresh off of winning its first district championship in this millennium, will host 15-seed Wayne Academy.
“They’re a very good football team. They played in an extremely tough district, they have three or four teams out of that district in playoffs,” Spartans coach Matt Middleton said.
In the wake of making school history yet again, Middleton said his team has quickly refocused itself on what he hopes is a lengthy playoff run.
“I thought practice (Wednesday) was one of the best practices we’ve had all year,” he said. “We came to work. We were zoned in, locked in.”
Mustangs take to the road
Clutch wins are no stranger to River Oaks, having won its last two games and three of its last five to get into the playoffs in the first place, so the Mustangs travel to Winona Christian playing at some of their best football of the season.
“We are playing better right now, once we started playing teams we matched up better with (in district play),” River Oaks coach Robert Hannah said.
Winona Christian reeled off five straight wins at one point this season, two of them against district opponents, and come into the playoffs after winning a third district game last week.
“They’re a very good football team, they’re district champs for a reason,” Hannah said. “They have good size up front on the offensive and defensive lines.”