Denison determined to stay in playoff race with victory over Crandall
DENISON, Texas (KTEN)- When Denison faced Crandall last year with a playoff spot on the line, things didn't go as the Yellowjackets had hoped as they lost 54-30.
"Overall, it was just a bad day. We had rain delays. Everything just leading up into it," Denison senior running back/defensive end Jakobi DeHorney said. "And then we just didn't play as well as we thought we were going to do."
"It was honestly heartbreaking," Denison senior left tackle Dalton Brown added. "I really thought we were going to win that game, and then it just didn't go how we planned."
But this year, with the same scenario, they believe things will be different.
"With how bad we lost last year, it's a lot of motivation," Brown said. "We really want to win."
"We're more motivated," DeHorney said. "We're going to come out with our head on fire and ready to play"
Last week, Denison defeated Princeton to snap a three-game losing streak. And they're hoping to keep that momentum going especially with quarterback Ty Rhodes back healthy after missing a couple of games earlier this season due to injury.
"Ty just keeps plays alive. That's what Ty does," Denison head coach Brent Whitson said. "You know, Ty hasn't played a tremendous amount of quarterback. He played 4-5 games this year. He's going to get better every time he takes a snap. The Princeton game was another measure of that, and it showed how much we missed him against Terrell."
Now, the game isn't as simple as win and you're in. Due to a potential three-way tiebreaker, Denison needs to win by six to move into fourth over Crandall while a 10-point victory would allow them to jump Terrell into third.
But Denison head coach Brent Whitson isn't getting lost in the math.
"I think you cross that bridge when you come into it. You go into the ball game to win. Knowing you have to win by a touchdown, but if you win, you're normally going to be in that situation," Whitson said. "The points come into late if we have a chance to get into that ten threshold. I just hope we're that fortunate."
And as Denison looks to get back to the playoffs for the first time in two years, there's no denying the hunger on their sideline.
"We've been together since we were little. There's not too many people who haven't been in Denison the whole time. so it's really family and we want to strive to be great," DeHorney said. "So for us to have this opportunity to go up by six and get fourth or go up by 10 and get third, I feel like it's going to come down to who wants it more, and I feel like we want it more this year."
The game will kick off at 7:30 on Friday. You can catch a full recap on the First and Ten on KTEN at 10:17 Friday.