KILLEEN — In the final week of regular season play, the Shoemaker Grey Wolves outlasted the Harker Heights Knights in overtime 27-21.
If Heights would have won, it would have allowed them to host their first playoff game in Leo Buckley Stadium, but now they will have to travel to Rockwall for their first game.
Shoemaker wanted to defend their third place standing in the district and that they did. This is their first playoff appearance since 2015 and head coach Toby Foreman is elated that the Grey Wolves season is not over yet.
“It means a lot. It means we get to continue our season,” Foreman said. “These kids deserve it. We didn’t play our best game tonight at all. That’s partially my fault, but it’ll be fixed. I’m proud of the resiliency of these kids. They never said die the whole year. It feels like we’ve been in an overtime game every week.”
Shoemaker was in the lead during the first half, but the Knights came back after halftime. Both teams fought as hard as they could to score, but as the clock hit zero, the score was tied 21-21.
“We’re normally 21, 21 or 28, 28 in the fourth. This group is giving me a heart attack, they’re killing me,” Foreman said, laughing.
The Knights had possession of the ball first in overtime. They attempted a field goal, but were unsuccessful. The Grey Wolves wasted no time with junior running back Devin Brown running it in securing the win for Shoemaker.
Brown said that it felt great finishing up the game and he’s excited to keep the winning streak going. He believes that if he and his team stay disciplined, they will definitely go far.
Foreman is looking forward to Shoemaker’s first playoff game against the Mesquite Skeeters in Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield. He is excited to improve on mistakes and come up with a game plan.
“We got to keep getting better,” Foreman said. “I mean, we’re not even close to where we need to be and we had some mistakes tonight that are just unacceptable, but you know, we’ll go back to the drawing board. We’ll come back with a good plan for Mesquite.”
Finishing off regular season play with a win is encouraging to the Grey Wolves as they venture into a new experience.
“There were some positives, I’m not going to lie. We completed deep ball for the first time in a while, but for the most part the kids are about to go into uncharted territory,” Foreman said. “There’s not one person in our program that has played in a playoff game. It’ll be a new experience, but you know if you want to get to the top, you’ve got to climb one rock at a time and this is just the next rock that’s in front of us.”
The Grey Wolves will take on the Skeeters in Vernon Newsom Stadium Friday in Mansfield. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.