Sports Spotlight: Crowell's Historic Football Playoff Run

- When you make a playoff run, you are going to run into some tough highly ranked teams.

For the Crowell Wildcats, they have had to face two top five teams in three of their playoff games.

"We started of with Hermleigh in the playoffs. They weren't ranked as high but they were a good football team. And then we get water valley in the second round. They are a good football team. They move the ball and they run a lot of spread. Then we pick up Ira last week. Great football team with great running backs. And they knocked us off last year. We knew a lot about them. It has been a lot of fun keeping things going with these kids," said Crowell Head Football Coach Nathan Hayes.

Within this trifecta of games, the one that might be the most memorable was Water Valley in the regional finals.

The game was moved around several times because of the weather.

Crowell head coach Nathan Hayes had to get his team ready three times for the game.

Weather delayed the first two trips to the game.

The Water Valley coaches told Hayes they were not coming because for the road conditions.

This came after the Wildcats were on the road to the game the first time.

And when they were at the school getting ready the next day.

Two days later, good things come to those who wait.

The top ranked teams met in an epic battle and it all came down to a last minute play that wasn't drawn up the way it happened.

But the pair involved in the play, Mitchell Parsley and Lex Bond, were happy about the result.

"It wasn't suppose to happen like that. But everything happened so fast. We just went with it. I saw Lex getting tackled. He looked at me and I know he thought twice about it before he pitched it back to me. He did and he was wide open for the touchdown. Everything just happened quick," said Parsley.

"We just ran a sweep right. Their defensive end wrapped me up. It was about 20 seconds left so I pitched it back. Mitchell threw me the ball as I broke lose and I made something happen," said Bond.

The team suffered more adversity against Ira as Bond suffered an arm injury.

The coaches and players say the adversity they have faced this season has made them a tight knit group.

"We have gotten so close. There is no "I" here. We give each other high fives. They enjoy playing together. There is no "I" in this team. We really have a pretty good bond with these kids," said Hayes.

"We have to overcome a lot of adversity during the games. It makes us stronger and more prepared for the games. And for what's down the road," said Parsley.

What's down the road for the Wildcats is a game again the Valley Patriots in the state semifinals.

Win that game and Crowell will play for a state title.

As you can expect the team and community are excited about this historic run.

The wildcats have never gone this deep in the playoffs, 11-man or 6-man.

Bringing home the 6-man division one title would be icing on the cake.

"It would be awesome. It would be memorable. It is something that everyone would remember forever. I would love to do that," said Parsley.

"The town and the community is excited. There is a lot of pressure. A lot of what the community is feeling, I am putting pressure on me and the coaches. We are taking this in. We want to win it for them. And it would be big for the town. They love this school and this community. It would be huge,"

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