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Football capsules: Ponder chasing playoff berth

After two straight losses, Ponder got back on track last week with a hard-fought 26-20 win over Boyd in District 4-3A. 

The win put the Lions (3-4, 1-1 district) in good position for a playoff berth, but there is still work to be done with three games left.

First, Ponder needs to bolster its resume with a road win over Paradise this week. The Lions sit in a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot with Bowie, while the Panthers (2-5, 0-2) are in the district cellar.

A win over Paradise would give Ponder some breathing room in the playoff race with games against Breckenridge (2-5, 2-0) and Bowie (2-5, 1-1) to come.

It was junior running back Carlos Zepeda who sparked the victory over Boyd. Zepeda, who entered the game averaging less than 4 yards per carry, exploded for 121 yards and a touchdown on 12 touches.

His breakout performance accounted for more than 61 percent of Ponder's offense in the game, and the Lions will again need a big performance from Zepeda on the ground this week. Senior Kaden McEwen was held in check last week but will look to get back on track, as he leads the Lions with 533 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

The Ponder defense will lean on seniors Noah Bean (53 tackles, seven for loss) and Michael Hill (39 tackles, seven for loss, four sacks) to keep Paradise in check.

The Panthers are 2-5, and four losses have come to teams with a combined record of 24-4. The other was a one-point overtime loss to Breckenridge.

Caddo Mills at Aubrey

Where: Chaparral Stadium

Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Records: Aubrey (6-1, 2-0), Caddo Mills (3-4, 0-2)

What's on the line: Aubrey continues to roll through its schedule — aside from a short-handed 20-7 loss to Whitesboro in Week 2 — but the Chaparrals have yet to face their toughest challenge. Aubrey has Caddo Mills this week but has to be careful to not look ahead to a pivotal showdown in Melissa. The Chaparrals will continue to use a committee in the backfield, with Spencer Nuemann, Will Dow and Pablo Vera seeing the majority of the action in a tuneup game against the Foxes.

Pilot Point at Pottsboro

Where: Jim Henderson Memorial Stadium

Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Records: Pilot Point (2-5, 1-1), Pottsboro (5-2, 2-0)

What's on the line: Pilot Point's brutal schedule doesn't get any easier as the Bearcats take on District 5-3A leader Pottsboro. The Bearcats fell to Whitesboro 21-12 last week but are still in position to claim a playoff spot. An upset over the Cardinals would do wonders for the their chances. The key will be continuing to get the ball to senior Quincy Kemp, who accounted for 167 yards and a touchdown last week.

Argyle at Sanger

Where: Indian Stadium

Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Records: Sanger (3-4, 1-1), Argyle (7-0, 2-0)

What's on the line: Sanger snapped out of its two-game skid with a 49-21 win over Burkburnett, but the Indians play host to one of the top teams in the state when No. 3 Argyle comes to town. The Eagles have yet to be even remotely slowed down offensively and enter this week scoring an average of more than 51 points per game behind QB Jon Copeland (1,780 yards, 22 TDs), RB Don Williams (810 yards, 10 TDs) and WR Wes McCollum (654 yards, 10 TDs). Sanger has a few weapons of its own in QB CJ Jackson (771 yards, seven TDs), Gavin Brown (500 yards, eight TDs) and Dameon Moser (459 yards, eight TDs), but the Indians will be challenged by the tough Eagle defense. What's been a heated rivalry may quickly turn into an Argyle rout.

Watauga Harvest Christian at Calvary

Where: Ryan High School

Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Records: Calvary (4-4), Watauga Harvest Christian (4-2)

What's on the line: Calvary is coming off a tough 40-38 loss to Greenville Christian that dropped the team to .500, while Watauga Harvest Christian was blown out 50-0 by Calvert. It's the TAPPS six-man District 1 opener for both teams, and the Lions will be looking to return to form. Harvest won this game 44-6 last season, giving Calvary plenty to play for this time around.

Carrollton Creekview at Lake Dallas

Where: Falcon Stadium

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Records: Lake Dallas (4-3, 3-1), McKinney North (0-7, 0-4)

What's on the line: Lake Dallas recorded an impressive win over The Colony and looks to build upon that when it hosts the last-place team in District 14-5A, Carrollton Creekview. The Mustangs have struggled offensively, scoring 10 points in their last four games, and the Falcons have seen an uptick in their offense, averaging nearly 28 points.

Graham at Krum

Where: Bobcat Stadium

Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Records: Krum (1-7, 0-4), Graham (7-0, 4-0)

What's on the line: Even close games for Krum don't end up going its way. The Bobcats lost by a score to Bridgeport and now have to play the toughest team in their district, an undefeated Graham squad.

Liberty Christian at Dallas Bishop Lynch

Where: Roffino Stadium

Time: 7 p.m. Friday

Records: Liberty Christian (5-2, 3-1 district), Dallas Bishop Lynch (7-0, 4-0)

What's on the line: The Liberty Christian Warriors are riding a three-game winning streak into perhaps the toughest game they will play in the regular season. Liberty travels to last year's state title winner, Dallas Bishop Lynch, and hopes to upset the Friars on their home turf. The stifling Warrior defense will need to keep the Friars' offense off the field to have a shot.