Fired up

Del Rio defensive lineman Alejandro De Luna is fired up in the sidelines during the second half of Friday’s game between Del Rio and the Laredo United South Panthers. Despite Del Rio’s 24-21 loss, the Rams can still make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

With two games left in the regular high school football season, Del Rio has its playoff destiny in its own hands.

A heartbreaking 24-21 loss to Laredo United South put a dent in the Rams’ postseason hopes, but it didn’t snuff them out completely. Thanks to Laredo Alexander, Del Rio’s playoff hopes are still alive and well.

The district standings after five weeks of play are as follows:

Laredo United and Laredo United South are both 4-0.

Laredo Alexander is 3-1.

Del Rio is 2-2.

Eagle Pass is 2-3.

Laredo LBJ is 0-4.

Laredo Nixon is 0-5.

Alexander defeated Eagle Pass Friday night, 42-30. The loss dropped the Eagles a half game behind Del Rio with two games to play. Should Del Rio lose to Laredo Alexander Friday night, then next week’s home finale against the Eagles would set up a winner-take-all game between the Rams and the Eagles at Walter Levermann Ram Stadium.

The only things for certain right now is that Laredo United and Laredo United South, both still unbeaten in district play after four games, are both in the playoffs. United South clinched a playoff spot by virtue of defeating Del Rio. They now own the head-to-head tiebreakers with Del Rio, Laredo Alexander and Eagle Pass, meaning if they wound up tied with any of those teams for a potential playoff spot then the Panthers would get in.

United has already beaten Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Laredo LBJ and Laredo Nixon, so their place in the postseason was already assured. All that’s left for the Longhorns is to determine where they’ll finish in the district hierarchy. Some of that will be clarified Thursday night when United and United South meet in a Halloween showdown with sole possession of first place in 29-6A on the line.

Laredo Alexander is in third place with a 3-1 mark. The Bulldogs have beaten Nixon, LBJ and Eagle Pass and their only loss is against South. Alexander still has games left against Del Rio and United, but by beating the Eagles Alexander has set itself up to clinch at least the third seed depending on the outcome of their final two games.

Eagle Pass is currently 2-3 and on a bye week this week. The Eagles have wins against LBJ and Nixon, both winless in 29-6A this season, and have to travel to Del Rio to face the Rams in the regular season finale.

A Del Rio win over Alexander and a loss to Eagle Pass would definitely muddy up the waters as each team would hold a win over the other. The last time this scenario played out, though, Del Rio and Eagle Pass agreed that the winner of their game would take the fourth and final spot.

This week, Laredo United faces Laredo United South on Thursday at the SAC, Laredo Nixon and Laredo LBJ square off on Thursday at Shirley Field, and Del Rio travels to Laredo to face Alexander on Friday at the SAC.

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