Area teams have a lot at stake as the 2013 football season draws to a close — the University of North Texas will close out its regular season all but assured of playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2004, and several Denton County teams are still in the hunt as the high school playoffs continue.
It’s been a great season, and our high school and college athletes have earned our support and deserve a strong turnout of local fans today and Saturday.
Argyle, coming off a 55-27 victory over Melissa in the Class 3A Division II area round, faces Gilmer in the Region II semifinals at 6 p.m. today at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas.
Gilmer is the team that knocked the Eagles out of the playoffs last year in the regional semifinals, so this should be quite a rematch.
The Liberty Christian Warriors will also be looking for a little revenge when they take on Fort Worth Nolan at 7 p.m. today in Keller in the TAPPS Class 5A Division I semifinals. Nolan defeated Liberty 41-31 in their district meeting earlier in the season, but the Warriors come into the game fresh off a 48-36 win over an old playoff nemesis, Austin St. Michael’s Catholic.
Two Denton teams — Guyer and Ryan — will both see action Saturday. Guyer will play Amarillo at 1 p.m. at Lubbock’s Lowrey Stadium, and Ryan will play Keller Fossil Ridge at 1 p.m. at Apogee Stadium in Denton.
After their five-game winning streak was snapped by Texas-San Antonio, the North Texas football team closes out the regular season on the road at Tulsa at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
UNT entered the UTSA game still in the running for the Conference USA West Division title, and while the 21-13 loss left the Mean Green on the outside looking in at 5-2 in league play, the team still has plenty to play for as the season comes to a close.
The Mean Green heads into Saturday’s game in a three-way tie for second place in Conference USA’s West Division with UTSA and Tulane. Rice is atop the standings at 6-1. Even if Rice loses its regular-season finale at home to Tulane and the Mean Green wins its game against Tulsa, UNT would lose any tiebreaker scenario.
Despite that reality, UNT’s players said they will be ready to go in their regular-season finale.
“We are going to be extremely hungry,” senior safety Marcus Trice said. “We are going to prepare like we always do, come out and execute, play fast and physical and get back to playing the style of Mean Green football that we play.”
A win over Tulsa would give UNT its highest win total since 2003, when the Mean Green went 9-4 and would also break the Golden Hurricane’s hold on the series. Tulsa has beaten UNT 10 straight times since the Mean Green’s 42-16 win in 1969.
This has truly been a breakout season for UNT, and a season-ending win and a bowl berth would mean that the team has a chance to win nine games for the first time since 2003.
That’s quite a turnaround, and we congratulate head coach Dan McCarney and his crew on what they have accomplished.
We’ll be cheering the Mean Green on Saturday against Tulsa and urge you to join us.
It looks like it’s going to be a great weekend for football.