The only goal Hico had that it hasn't achieved thus far this season was a district championship. Now the Tigers have a chance for revenge, and regardless if it's served, it will definitely be cold.
Hico meets fellow District 5 member - and league champion - Goldthwaite at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Gordon Wood Stadium in Brownwood. The Eagles defeated the Tigers 28-21 in the regular season, and eliminated the other District 5 playoff representative - De Leon - 14-13 last week.
The 1A Division I quarterfinal comes after the Tigers outscored their first three playoff foes - Kerens, Quinlan Boles and Collinsville - 156-51. Goldthwaite had a first-round bye and beat Simms Bowie 32-6 in the area round.
"It's nice to have another shot at them," said Hico head coach Keith Wood. "We had a great game with them in district, but they just beat us in the second half. Hopefully this time around it will be different."
He says the Tigers are coming off their best performance of the season in their 54-14 win over a Collinsville team he thought would present a tough challenge. Hico led 35-0 by halftime.
"I think it was our best overall game of the year as far as ball handling, distribution and execution, even defense," Wood said. "When you consider the quality of opponent it's definitely right up there."
Fans who plan to bundle up and brave the severe cold to see the game will be happy to hear that both teams plan to run the ball and keep the clock moving.
"We are who we are and that's who we're going to have to be Friday night," said Wood of a Tiger offense that averages 500 rushing yards per game. "We run the ball. We do it with a lot of different guys, but that's what we do."
Goldthwaite is the same way. The Eagles and legendary coach Gary Proffitt - who is retiring at season's end - stick to their wishbone and broken bone looks about the same as Hico stays in it's wing-T.
"They're not going to change or disguise what they do and we're not going to either," Wood said. "This game is about who controls the line of scrimmage, who doesn't turn the ball over and who capitalizes on the most opportunities. The team that does that is the one that will have the best chance to win in the end."
Which would mean a shot at New Deal or reigning 1A Division I champ Stamford in the semifinals.
"It's a lot different than when we played in district because then nobody's season was on the line," Wood said. "Now if you win you move on, and if you don't, you don't. That ups the ante a little more."