Cardinals gear up for final playoff push

By Rick Bailey
Anna-Melissa Tribune

MELISSA- The first step for the Melissa Cardinals (9-1/5-1) in their 2020 playoff run is waiting for them on Friday night, November 13 when they host the Dallas Carter Cowboys (3-3/3-2). The Cardinals ended the regular season as the runner-up to Argyle in District 7-4A (DI) and the Cowboys finished third in District 8-4A (DI). 

Both teams are coming off big final week wins last Friday, November 6 as Melissa took out the Kaufman Lions 52-14 and Carter defeated Dallas Roosevelt 50-12. According to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football publication the Cardinals are 26 point favorites. Two very high octane offenses will tee it up at Melissa Cardinal stadium at 7:30 Friday. 

 Melissa’s blowout win last Friday featured 597 yards of total offense (216 rushing and 381 passing). Running back Ashton Mitchell-Johnson carried the ball just four times for 94 yards and one touchdown while Braeden Smith rushed for 76 yards and two touchdowns in the rout. Quarterback Sam Fennegan added 338 yards passing and three touchdowns on 19 of 29 attempts. Jaylen Williams added another rushing touchdown from the backfield as well. 

Cardinal receivers were led by Antonio Robinson with six catches for 144 yards and one touchdown. Colton Wittover hauled in eight passes for 93 yards and one touchdown with Chanse Holiday who got one touchdown catch on three receptions and 73 yards.

The top four teams in District 7-4A (DI) will face off in the first round of the against District 8-4A (DI) in the first round of the Class 4A Division I playoffs. Wilmer-Hutchins finished in the top spot and will face the Kaufman Lions on Friday, November 13 at Forney City Bank Stadium. Lincoln got the second spot and will face Paris on Thursday night, November 12 at Dallas Sprague Stadium. 

North Dallas captured the fourth spot and will face District 7-4A (DI) champion and Number One ranked team in the state for Class 4A-Division I, the Argyle Eagles (10-0/6-0). The Eagles have retained the Number One spot in the state the entire season. 

The matchups in the Region II bracket in the UIL Class 4A-Division are all important with several of the teams being ranked in the top 10 in the state of Texas by the Associated Press and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football. Those teams include Argyle (#1), Melissa (#4), Midlothian Heritage (#6) and Waco LaVega (#7).