By Christian Molinar
Burges Mustangs Sports Reporter

The ‘Payback Tour’ has come to a close, but the Burges Mustangs’ journey lost a little steam, as they lost to El Paso High last Friday in the last regular season game.

Despite the loss, the 8-2 Mustangs have earned a playoff spot. They take on the Horizon Scorpions Friday at Horizon. The winner will be the bi-district champions.

A weird situation played out to help the road ahead. Before kick-off, the team needed a win to play Horizon instead of Riverside. Players said it didn’t  matter who they played. After the Tigers won, the mind-set was to prepare for the Rangers for a second time this season, but a coin flip between coaches from Horizon and Riverside changed everything. Horizon won the coin flip which placed them higher in seeding and the Mustangs lower.

“It doesn’t matter who we play, we’ll take on anyone, anywhere,” safety Eddie Avila said. “We want to make a great run in the playoffs. Everyone is dead even now. It’s a brand new season. I look back on the season as a special time. We wanted to win the [district] title. Not a lot of campus teams can say they had a season like this, and we’re not done. There was a couple of downfalls. Every team has adversity, but we fought through it. This wasn’t a miracle or anything; this was hard work which started last year. We worked our butts off for these results. We [seniors] worked harder and pushed the underclassmen to do the same, and they did. That’s why have the record because of hard work.”

The team still can strive for another mark- the most campus wins in a postseason. Defensive end coach Manny Herrera was part of the 1992 team that went 9-1. He was a coach with the ‘98 team that won the campus’ last bi-district football title.

“The ‘92 team was special,”  Herrera said. “We accomplished that when were a 5-A. This team is cutting its path in 4-A, which makes it remarkable. The big difference is that there are less students now, which makes it difficult to have better athletes to pull from. When we were in 5-A there were less schools to compete against, but each school had more to pick from. I think this team will have the best chance to win two playoff games.”

The Scorpions are 6-4 on the season, 4-2 in district 2-4A. If Burges wins, it will face the winner of Lake Dallas (7-3) and Canyon High (5-5).

“It’s going to be a good game,” senior Jorge Cruz said. “Horizon is a great team. We haven’t played them since my sophomore year, and they beat us. Now, we are going to go into their house and get some payback. We can’t look past them, but knowing a team from Central Texas is waiting for us is exciting. This is going to be a first time experience for all us. It’s a clean slate, and we’re on a new mission. In the end, the extra effort separates the winners and losers. Winning takes a lot more than that. It starts with a command of the fundamentals. Then it takes desire and self-sacrifice. We plan on leaving our mark.”