WAUKOMIS, Okla. —
Pioneer’s week will finish with its best chance to notch its first district win, and maybe with its last chance to stay in the playoff race.
The Mustangs (1-6, 0-3) travel to Carnegie (1-6, 1-2) Friday and host Crossings Christian (2-5, 0-3) in back-to-back weeks, facing two of District A-3’s bottom three teams consecutively with a chance to put a postseason berth in play in Week 10’s finale at Minco.
A loss in any of the three remaining games, and Pioneer will already be eliminated, losing head-to-head matchups against A-3’s second-through-fourth-place teams in Crescent, Cashion and Watonga.
So, Pioneer is still in the playoff picture, but its margin of error is gone.
“These are must-win games now if you’re wanting to make the playoffs,” said Pioneer coach Kurt Myers. “We’ve got to have 110-percent effort. We’ve got to go above and beyond.”
Both Carnegie and Pioneer are coming off their worst losses of the season. Pioneer lost its third straight to open the 2A-3 season to Crescent, 52-6, and Carnegie fell to district leader Minco, 61-0, the third Minco shutout win of 2013.
Neither team enters Friday with an overwhelming offense, with Carnegie’s unit holding a two-point, and two-place edge over Pioneer’s in the season’s first seven games. The Wildcats’ run-heavy, wing-T offense has scored 95 points this season — 13.6 points per game — to Pioneer’s 93 and 13.3, putting Carnegie at 40th to the Mustangs’ 42nd in Class A.
“We’ve got to stop the run,” Myers said.
“They base their offense on three plays … They run the sweep, a trap and the toss. If we can stop that, or limit that, we’ll be pretty good. They’re an 88-percent run team, so if we can stop the run, we’ve got a good chance.”
Pioneer won the only other matchup between the teams last season, 21-14.
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Records: Carnegie (1-6, 1-2)
Pioneer (1-6, 0-3)
Series: Pioneer leads, 1-0
Last: Pioneer won 21-14