Mesquite (Texas) Horn High hasn't exactly had the best football season in school history. The Jaguars are only 2-6 and stand at just 1-2 in district play. Still, all those perceptions about an off year could change in a flash if Horn beats North Mesquite (Texas) High on Friday.
Why? It's not because the Stallions are unbeatable. To the contrary, North Mesquite enters the game just two wins better off than Horn. Still, if the Jaguars emerge from Friday's neighborly rivalry game with a win, they'll be in the playoffs with potentially just three wins.
Wait, what? A Texas team qualifying for the state playoffs with a 3-6 record? As pointed out by the Dallas Morning News' Matt Wixon, incredibly, that's precisely what would happen with a Horn victory on Friday, which would earn the squad a berth out of the incredibly tough District 11-5A.
As Wixon writes, what's equally amazing is that the Jaguars actually might be worthy of a place, too, when you consider the team's potential. Horn has lost six games, but those setbacks have come by a combined 44 points. That's an average of just a 7.3-point differential per game, and one loss -- to Carrollton (Texas) Hebron High -- came by only one point.
When you consider the fact that Horn also put a huge scare in two members of the RivalsHigh 100 in the past two weeks -- the Jaguars eventually fell 38-30 to No. 73 Longview (Texas) High and 56-50 to 19th-ranked DeSoto (Texas) High … in overtime -- there's plenty of reasons to believe that the Dallas-area school could be one of the more competitive six-loss playoff teams in recent memory, if not ever.
Then again, Horn might be one of the only 3-6 (or potentially 3-7, as the Jaguars have a regular-season-ending matchup against crosstown rivals Mesquite High on Nov. 4) playoff teams anyone comes across, period. Just getting there would be a testament to the team's perseverance, and perhaps make it a trivia answer for Texas high school football stat fans for years to come.