One of Tom Petty’s trademark songs once said “The waiting is the hardest part.”
One of Tom Petty’s trademark songs once said “The waiting is the hardest part.” For the Wilson Eagles, their way to host a game in the postseason hasn’t just been hard, it’s been down right agonizing. It’s been more than 30 years since the black and gold were able to play a game in the playoffs on their home field, but all of that could possibly change this week. At 7 p.m. Friday night in Ryan, the Eagles could do what no one else has done in a very long time, secure a home playoff game with a win against the Cowboys. As things stand, the Eagles currently sit in second place overall in district B-4 at 2-1 in district play and 6-1 overall. Meanwhile the Cowboys are hanging onto the last and final playoff spot in fourth place at 3-4 overall and 1-2 in district play. A loss by the Cowboys could send them into a week 10 matchup for the final playoff spot with the Central High Bronchos, while a loss by CHHS would hand the postseason berth to the Cowboys. With history potentially on the line this week, Wilson head coach Kenny Ridley hasn’t had a hard time keeping his players motivated, or focused in practice. “To be honest, I’m very uncertain as to when Wilson last hosted a playoff game,” Ridley said. “Our team though is very well aware of the magnitude of these next two contests. These games stand between us and achieving one of our goals.” “I haven’t had to spend much time keeping the kids focused,” Ridley added. “Ryan is one of the teams that really put it on us last year when we were depleted by injuries, so they’ve had our attention for a very long time.” Last week the Eagles survived cold temperatures and some rain to earn a landmark win over the Empire Bulldogs by a score of 22-6. It was the third time this season the Eagles had allowed less than 10 points, and the second time they’d held an opponent to just six points. The win was also the third in four games for the Eagles, which has them zoned in on making history. Ryan meanwhile earned its first district win of the year with a 30-14 victory over Bray-Doyle on the road. The Cowboys have been good and bad this season as they scored 66 against Grandfield in week two, but allowed 64 in their opening week loss against Velma-Alma, and 54 points in a loss against Maysville. Last season when these two teams met at Skinny Stewart Stadium, it was the Cowboys winning 24-6. Wilson’s last victory over the Cowboys came during the 2017 season when the Eagles won an exciting 26-24 contest.