Not since 2015 has the Vikings advanced deep in the state playoffs. Today, the varsity players will face an undefeated Duncanville Panthers team for Region title bragging rights. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield.
As the sole remaining AISD football team left in the state playoffs, the Vikings entered with a 11-1 season record and a second place finish in district play. Other teams advancing were Arlington (second round), Bowie, and Martin (both first round).
“The game against Permian was the hardest game so far,” senior Jordan Williams said. “We were tied 21-21 in the third before we took control of the game.”
After posting wins against San Angelo, 55-14, in Bi-District and Odessa Permian, 49-34, in Area, the varsity team prepares for what is expected to be a “hard fought” battle on the field.
“If we win tonight, it will be the first time in 15 years we will advance to the fourth round,” senior Cedric Davis said. “Duncanville hasn’t faced a real challenge yet. We plan to humble them tonight.”
The average scores for both schools have a difference of one point; that extra point favors the Panthers according to team stats on Maxpreps.
“We feel ecstatic and blessed to still be in the playoffs,” Williams said. “When we were freshmen, the upperclassmen doubted us. When we got to 5-0 this season, we started thinking, ‘All right, we can do this.’”
Should the Vikings win the Region round, they will face either Southlake Carroll or Euless Trinity in the state Quarterfinals.
“We’re trying to make history this year,” senior Andrew Gladbach said. “We have confidence in our abilities.”