In the regular-season finale on Friday, Nov. 10, Princeton’s Panthers shutout Anna, 35-0, on their home turf at Jackie Hendrix Stadium. The win earned Princeton (5-5, 4-1) a share of the District 7-4A (I) championship along with Paris and Liberty-Eylau. As the district’s No. 3 playoff seed due to a head-to-head-points tiebreaker, the Panthers will face Van (9-1, 4-1) in the bi-district round at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, at Rockwall.
The Coyotes (6-4, 2-3) are playoff-bound as well, though suffering a third-straight setback — and a second-straight shutout defeat. As the district’s fourth seed, Anna will face Kaufman (9-1, 5-0) at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17, at Wylie ISD Stadium.
At Princeton, the Coyotes were held to 115 yards of offense while the Panthers put up 340, with 240 of it via rushing. Princeton led 21-0 after one quarter and 28-0 at halftime. Jalaydon Hill led the Panthers with just over 160 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
“I thought they controlled the line of scrimmage pretty much all night, on both sides of the ball,” Anna head coach Jason Heath said one day after the contest. “You’ve got to win the battle up-front or you’re going to have problems. And that was pretty much it all night.
“(Princeton) came out and executed very well. We weren’t able to slow them down much in the first half and we weren’t able to get very much going offensively. That kind of put us behind. And I thought they were more physical than us, for whatever reason.”
Heath said the Coyotes approach the playoffs with some challenges, health-wise. “We’re pretty banged up right now. We have some kids questionable about whether they’ll be able to play. We’ll have to get some kids ready and we’ll have to have some kids step up. It’s playoff football. It’s good to be in the playoffs but we’re going to have to play well against a good Kaufman team. They were district champs.
“The teams we faced in Paris and Liberty-Eylau are very similar to how they are, as far as athleticism, size and speed. We can’t say we haven’t seen teams like (Kaufman). I think our last three games have been against really good teams. … We’ll put a game plan together and go out and put it in play on Friday night.”