By Greg Ford
The Pirates suffered a setback Friday with their 35-27 loss at Denison.
However, despite the defeat, which dropped Wylie’s record to 3-2 in District 13-4A and 4-4 overall, not all is lost.
“We still control our own destiny. If we win the next two, then we’re locked in. Friday night is a big game. We’re home and it’s Senior Night with Sherman. We’ve just got to play,” said head coach Bill Howard.
In the Bearcats, Wylie faces another 3-2 team that’s in the playoff hunt, and a loss to the Pirates would end that hope, Howard noted.
“This is going to be their Super Bowl,” he said. “They don’t like us, we know that. We’re not fond of them. Last year was a battle (Sherman won 45-35), and it should be a battle (Friday) … Their backs are to the wall, so they are going to give us everything they’ve got … This is a big game for both teams, so it is going to be crazy.”
Sherman enters Friday’s game off a 35-21 loss to Lovejoy, which Wylie beat earlier this season. This week’s game will be Wylie’s final home contest of the season, with the regular-season finale slated for Nov. 8 at Royse City.
The Pirates entered last Friday’s contest at 3-1 in 13-4A, tied with Wylie East and Denison for the district lead. The Raiders beat Royse City 53-14 to maintain their share of first.
For a while, it appeared Wylie would hold the other share, as they led the Yellowjackets 27-22 after three quarters. However, they were outscored 13-0 in the final period.
“We beat ourselves,” Howard said. “We were up 27-22, and we made some mistakes and let them come back ahead. Then, we stopped them in their end (of the field) and then we fumbled the punt. We fumbled inside their 10 and fumbled inside our 10.
We just had a lot of mistakes that kept us from winning the game. We outplayed them.”
Carsen Cook and Alex Wesley hooked up for a pair of touchdowns, a 22-yarder in the first quarter and a 79-yarder in the third. Kelly also caught a three-yard pass and returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. Wylie’s defense gave up four rushing touchdowns and 412 yards on the ground overall. It held Denison to 66 yards passing. The Yellowjackets also got a safety after Wylie was flagged for committing a penalty in its own end zone.
Offensively, Cook was 17-for 30 for 208 yards and three scores, with Wesley catching 12 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. The Pirates’ top ground gainer was Tristen Clark, who rushed for 71 yards on 13 attempts.
Note: One piece of good news is the Pirates didn’t suffer any more injuries Friday. In fact, Howard noted, the team is getting healthier, which is good news as the postseason approaches.
The JV Black fell 14-6 to Denison, one week after recording a 37-21 victory over McKinney North.
Wylie’s freshman Maroon defeated McKinney North 40-18 on Oct. 17, and the White muzzled the Bulldogs 28-6.