It's crunch time for the Fightin' Chicks as they face a crucial three game stretch to achieve their goal of playoff football.
A 24-3 loss last Friday to 5A District 1 leaders Ardmore leave the Chicks with a 3-4 overall record and 1-3 in district. Duncan, Southeast, and this Friday's opponent, Del City, are all that remain as the season heads on the downward slope toward the postseason. Winning out would almost surely bring playoff football to Chickasha, but that task will be anything but easy.
"If you win two out of the last three, then it goes to points and I don't know what would happen at that stage," head coach Tom Cobble said. "At some point, you have to start beating the teams ranked in the top half of the district, and that's something we've been unable to do so far."
Chickasha's only district win came against Capitol Hill more than two weeks ago. Their offense, which has excelled so far this season, found more trouble than usual against Ardmore and was unable to score a touchdown for the first time in 2013.
"Ardmore had a lot to do with that," Cobble said. "They've got a lot of speed. Four of five guys in their secondary were in the relay team last spring that, I think, won state; either that or they got second or third. Then we had four possessions in the first half and we turned it over three times."
Ardmore had 17 points by halftime, but the Chickasha defense stepped up in the second half and held the Tigers more closely.
"The main thing that gave us trouble was the toss sweep," Cobble said. "So, you widen your defensive ends and your linebackers. Plus, by halftime you get a sense of their play calling. Our defensive coaches did a great job of making the adjustments and reading their play calls."
Such adjustments will be needed on both sides of the ball if Chickasha is to take advantage of their remaining games and bridge the gap between themselves and district playoff spots.
"Whether you're first or fourth, you can't win a state championship game without getting into the playoffs," Cobble said. "That's our ultimate goal."