By Mark S. Kenna
Nov. 11, 2013. Watauga (8-3) just barely squeezed past the South Caldwell Spartans (5-6) 22-21 to stay undefeated on the road this season, clinching a playoff berth in the process.
The Spartans stuck first with a touchdown at the end of the first quarter. Aaron Dobbins connecting to TJ Poulos rectified an almost scoreless Pioneers first half with a touchdown late in the second quarter. However, by the end of the first half, Watauga trailed 6-14 because a missed Pioneer PAT.
In the second half, the Pioneers scored first with a rushing touchdown, and a Justin Greer two-point conversion halfway through the third quarter put the score at 14-14. The Spartans responded with a rushing touchdown late in the third quarter to put the score at 14-21.
Of the first three quarters, the ballgame came down to the last minute of the fourth quarter. A rushing touchdown coupled with a Poulos two-point conversion finished the game with a Pioneer victory over the Spartans 22-21.
“Honestly they’re a good football team,” Habich said. “They suffered a lot of injuries this year, and they played really good football.”
The Pioneers are scheduled to play the Porter Ridge Pirates from Indian Trial. The Pirates defeated the Pioneers last year 0-69 in the first round of the playoffs and have won the 4A western conference the past two years.
“We’re gonna have to be able to take chances. Porter Ridge plays in one of the best conferences in the state,” Habich said. “We’re gonna have to play mistake free football and force the turnovers.”
Because the Pioneers won against South Caldwell they will play from Jack Groce on Friday, Nov. 15. Habich considers this an advantage.
“They have a long bus trip up here,” Habich said. “Its gonna be cold and our boys are excited. Anything can happen in the playoffs.”
The game will start at 7:30.