KETCHUM - It's a no-brainer.
Do you stay home and play a No. 3 seed or do you hit the road and take your chances against a No. 2 seed in the first round of the Class A playoffs?
Afton head coach Zach Gardner knows what scenario he would rather have for his Eagles.
Second place in District A-7 will be at stake when Afton battles Ketchum in the regular season finale here Friday night.
“There's a lot riding on this one game,” Gardner said. “It all comes down to this. We control our own destiny right now.”
Teams from A-7 will be paired against teams from A-8 in first-round playoff games next week.
Heading into Week 9, No. x Panama and Pocola will play for the district title. Panama is 7-0 and Pocola stands 6-1. Gore is third at 5-2 and Warner stands fourth at 4-3.
Commerce wrapped up the A-7 district title last Friday night when it held off Ketchum 38-31.
The loss by the Warriors and Afton's 41-0 pounding of Copan left the two teams tied for second place at 4-1.
The Eagles' lone district loss was a 33-14 setback at the hands of Commerce on Sept. 28.
“We're really starting to gel,” Gardner said. “A couple of position changes (moving Shawn Free to tight end and T.J. Korb to tailback) has affected us in a positive way.”
Commerce senior halfback James Sullivan rushed for 227 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Tigers' win over Ketchum.
The Warriors, who pulled off three onside kicks over the course of the game, were unable to take advantage of those or six fumbles by CHS.
“They (the Warriors) were down a couple touchdowns at times and fought back,” Gardner said. “That shows the character of their ballclub.”
Ketchum generated 283 yards in total offense against CHS, 142 yards on the ground.
“They have speed and speed kills in football,” Gardner said. “I think that may be one of our advantages - we are better against speed than we are against power, to be honest.”
Flanker William Evans gained 62 yards on 12 carries while quarterback Harrison Kay and tailback Charles Balcom contributed 42 yards each.
Kay completed 8 of 16 passes for 141 yards with one interception.
“We are pretty good and think we can score on any given play, but I think they are the same way with as much speed as they've got,” Gardner said. “You miss a tackle or two and they are out of the gate. They have three skill kids who really play well. You can't just concentrate on Kay.”