Pirates vs. Crowley in bidistrict

November 7, 2012

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One game doesn’t make a season.

And the Granbury football Pirates are glad.

The Pirates lost 63-0 at home Friday night to Aledo. The three-time defending Class 4A Division I state champions humbled Granbury like the Pirates have not been humbled in years.

But in a week and a half both will be in exactly the same place – opening the playoffs.

Granbury (6-3, 4-2 in District 7-4A) will be facing a familiar foe. They will tangle with District 8-4A champion Crowley (8-1), a former District 7-4A opponent, Friday night, Nov. 16.

The teams will play at Saginaw’s new high school, Chisholm Trail. It will be the third consecutive season in which the Pirates have advanced to the playoffs, and that has happened only once before in school history (1965-68).

But before he will talk much about Crowley, Granbury coach Scotty Pugh wants to address the Pirates’ final regular-season foe Friday at Farrington Field in Fort Worth. Despite their record (2-7, 2-4 in 7-4A), Pugh sees Arlington Heights as a dangerous team.

“We’re on a one-game skid, and we really want to break that before we go into the playoffs,” Pugh said. “I know Heights has struggled, but they do have some talent that has to be dealt with.

“Most people thought they’d be a playoff team this season. They had a few things happen to them that kept that from occurring, but they’d love nothing better than to end the season by beating us.”

Despite what happened against Aledo, the Pirates have a chance to do something that hasn’t been done since 1998. A win Friday gives them a 7-3 regular-season record.

The 1998 squad, coached by Biff Peterson, did not advance to the playoffs because at that time only the top two teams in district advanced. They finished third.

Crowley and the Pirates are certainly no strangers, and they’ve done their share of delivering disappointment to each other in recent seasons. In fact, they’ve made a habit of doing so on each other’s home field, so who knows what will happen on a neutral site?

Last season Granbury routed the Eagles 35-14 in Crowley as Brandon Davis (now at Louisiana Tech) rushed for 234 yards and three touchdowns. The Pirate defense limited heralded Crowley running back Larry Cheeks to 104 yards on 27 carries.

Cheeks, who shared 7-4A Offensive Player of the Year honors with Davis, has rushed for over 1,500 yards entering this weekend.

In 2009 the Eagles visited Granbury and spoiled the Pirates’ homecoming, winning 8-0. In Granbury’s 2010 homecoming, Crowley won 33-31.

Also, for the first time in their three playoff appearances under Pugh, the Pirates will be the team with the most postseason experience in recent years. The Eagles are back in the playoffs after going 3-7 a year ago and missing out.

Crowley’s last playoff appearance was in 2010 when the Eagles finished 5-6 and lost in bidistrict. Granbury has gone 6-5 and 5-6 the past two seasons, losing to Waco Midway and Killeen in bidistrict.

Should Granbury get past Crowley, it would be the team’s first playoff win since 1967.

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