Huntsville seeks playoff berth in regular season finale at Rudder

Joseph Brown | The ItemHuntsville senior running back Jayden Baker fights for extra yardage during last week’s win over Montgomery Lake Creek at Bowers Stadium.

If the Huntsville Hornets win, they’re in. Outside of that, not much else is certain.

Huntsville (6-3, 4-2) heads on the road to Bryan Rudder (5-4, 3-3) on Thursday for its final game of the regular season, needing a win to clinch a playoff berth. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

With over 30 seniors, the Hornets are locked in on the task at hand — and hungry for a victory.

“This group — especially this group of seniors — wants to continue playing, so you know they’re going to be prepared,” Huntsville head coach Rodney Southern said. It’s such a big group of seniors … I don’t know if they approach it any different, but they know we have to take care of business.”

The Hornets, who are currently third in District 10-5A, can finish anywhere from second to fourth place if they win — depending on the outcome of the outcome of Friday’s game between Katy Paetow and Lamar Consolidated. A Paetow win locks Huntsville into third, but an upset by Lamar would create a three-way tie for second.

Southern points to getting pressure on Rudder quarterback EJ Ezar and keeping the ball out of the hands of the Rangers’ top offensive weapons — such as junior receiver Keithron Lee and senior running back James Ayers — as the key to securing a victory.

“We have to put a tremendous amount of pressure on their quarterback,” Southern said. “If they’re able to spread it out and get the ball to their skill guys, like they have been doing, it’s going to be tough for us.”