CENTER, TX (KTRE) - The Center Roughriders went through some tough times and an even tougher schedule. Either way, they're playoff bound.
They survived the 'District of Doom,' played 10 straight weeks because their bye wasn't until the last week of district play, and managed to pull away with a 6-4 record with a completely new offensive and defensive line.
Center finished fourth in their district with a 4-2 record and believe if they made it through one of the toughest schedules in the state, they can stay afloat for a while in the playoffs.
"I don't think there's any teams in the playoffs that's going to be Henderson, Carthage or Center because I believe the 'District of Doom' is the 'District of Doom.' Whoever is playing the teams in the 'District of Doom,' they're going to be in for it," said Center quarterback Kyle Parks.
"I think that we got better every game and that's all the matters. Honestly, I think this district was the hardest and I think we really won't be playing any teams harder than the teams like Henderson or the ones in our district. I think that they really let us see where we were at," said Center receiver Octavious Evans.
The young players in the trenches had to get through some growing pains, but in their last week of district play they beat a first place ranked Kilgore team who had yet to lose a district game. Center pulled off a 40-39 victory and they believe that winning momentum will carry them through to the postseason as well as their built up confidence.
"Since we came off that win against Kilgore it gave us a boost. It made us feel like we're capable of playing with any team," said Parks.
"Our line and our receivers just came together. When you got 11 people playing hard, anything can happen. Kyle and I talked to the team when we went into the locker room against Kilgore saying 'This is our last one. We're seniors so we got to go out there and play our hardest every time,'" said Evans.
Center will start their playoff run against Bridge City Friday night at Wildcat Stadium in Splendora. Game starts 7:30 p.m.