GODLEY — Godley visits Hillsboro on Friday as the Wildcats and Eagles will battle for the No. 2 seed in District 4-4A Division II.
The winner between Godley (7-2, 2-1) and Hillsboro (4-5, 2-1) will secure second place behind Glen Rose and will play the No. 3 seed out of District 3-4A DII, either Aubrey (3-6) or Bridgeport (5-4), in the Class 4A DII bi-district playoffs. The loser will be the No. 3 seed and will play Graham (5-4), the District 3-4A No. 2 seed.
“This game is big,” Godley coach Curtis Lowery said. “We’re trying to prepare our kids for the playoffs, so we’re treating it like it’s a playoff game. It’s our last district ball game and we’re just going to go out and try to prepare ourselves for big ball games. In saying that, it’s more focus on better preparation from us and paying attention to details and preparing ourselves to play the best we can in a big-game setting.”
Both the Wildcats and Eagles have big wins over Venus and Ferris along with a loss to Glen Rose. Godley beat Venus, 61-12, while Hillsboro beat Venus, 69-0. The Wildcats beat Ferris, 55-21, while the Eagles beat Ferris, 28-16. Godley lost to Glen Rose, 42-7, while Hillsboro lost to the Tigers, 40-21.
Hillsboro features a balanced offensive attack, led by senior running back Brandon Montoya, who has 623 rushing yards, and junior quarterback Thomas Pratt, who has accounted for 16 total touchdowns.
“Their tailback can really go,” Lowery said. “They’ve got good athletes on the outside. They do a lot of formation stuff. Our No. 1 goal is to get lined up and contain that tailback. They do a good job of getting the ball to their athletes. They’ve got good athletes at the receiver positions along with their tailback. Their quarterback does a good job of getting the ball to all of them. And they’ve got a solid offensive line.
“They do a good job of hurting you on the edges and hurting you inside. They can take their shots, too. But they do a good job of getting the ball out in space.”
Godley’s defense is led by senior end Landon Stevenson, who has 89 tackles and 20 tackles for loss, along with linebackers Josiah Caro (74 tackles, 10 for loss) and Kolby Bartlett (57 tackles, seven for loss), and safety Parker Priddy (50 tackles, three interceptions, four passes defensed).
For the Wildcat offense, Lowery is looking for maintained balance and take advantage of what Hillsboro’s defense may give them.
“They’ve got some good, solid football players,” Lowery said. “Their kids play hard on defense. We’re going to have to stay balanced with the run-pass. That’s what we’ve tried to do all year long. We’ll try to find the openings in their defense and take advantage. But they’re a good defense. Our goal is we’re going to have to play well up front No. 1, and then we’re going to have to break some tackles. When we get the ball in our hands, we have to make plays.”
Godley’s balanced offense is led by junior quarterback Ethan McBrayer, who has thrown for 2,235 yards with 28 touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s spread the ball out to Brenen Hawkins, Parker Priddy and Caden Midkiff, all of whom have at least 32 receptions for 558 yards and six touchdowns. Running back Kolby Bartlett has rushed for 1,238 yards and nine touchdowns on 165 carries.
With the playoffs beginning next week, Lowery said they’re hoping to be getting healthy overall at the right time after several players have dealt with bumps and bruises throughout the season.
“No. 1 is get everybody healthy,” Lowery said. “We’ve been banged up all year. We’ve got everybody mostly healthy now and we’re looking to have the same guys starting for multiple weeks in a row. It’s hard to come together as a team when you’re playing somebody different in each spot every couple weeks. We’re starting to get there. That’s our main thing is just focusing on details and then playing together as a team.”
Kickoff between the Wildcats and Eagles is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday from Eagle Field.