There's still plenty of fight in a Tiger team that has been beaten and battered with injury after injury in a strange season that turned high school football upside down from El Paso to Texarkana and from Houston to Dallas, two of the worst hit COVID-19 spots in Texas.
The Tigers, who have been decimated with physical injuries, have two games left and plan to make the most of them. Even though they are out of the playoff hunt, they want to bounce back and go out strong the next two weeks.
"Obviously, it would definitely be a resurgence for us," Tiger coach Hal Wasson said Monday. "This team has had a rough go. The goal right now is to win Friday."
The Tigers brought back the entire backfield from last year's team that finished tied for second in the district behind Ennis' state powerhouse team, a backfield that entered the season with all the promise in the world.
Unfortunately the threesome of quarterback Solomon James and tailbacks Da Da Daniels and Anthony Young, who produced more than 3,400 yards, have never had a chance to play more than a few minutes together because of injuries.
Daniels and Young aren't expected to play the final two games, but James, who hasn't started a game since Oct. 9 when he was injured at Whitehouse, could play Friday against Forney. The Tigers still don't know if Jayvon Thomas, a sophomore who has stepped in at tailback and more recently at quarterback, will be ready. Thomas suffered an injury and left Friday's game early in the first quarter.
"I'm pretty confident Solomon will play this week," Wasson said. "I'm hoping Jayvon will get a chance to play, too."
Those two offensive weapons would help an offense that has not only struggled, but an offense that has been limited and predictable without James, who has the ability to beat you in the air.
The Tigers (2-6) travel to Forney, a team they defeated on Oct. 23, and then finish the season with a road game in Crandall.
"It's difficult to beat a team twice," said Wasson, whose 2019 team had trouble scoring at Forney in a 7-0 victory. "We've got two games left and those two games mean a whole lot. We want to go out on a good note.
"It's been challenging from week to week," he said. "We didn't practice for seven months and it has been a difficult season. People say these last two games are meaningless, but they mean a lot to us.''
The two games were originally canceled when the District 14-5A leaders decided to re-write the format for making the playoffs and replace the original seven-game district schedule with two zones of four teams with the top two zone teams playing for the top two playoff seeds and the runner-up teams playing for the third and fourth seeds.
The three-game zone schedules ended Friday with Ennis and North Forney emerging to meet this Friday to decide the district title and Greenville and Royse City playing Friday for the third seed.
But the district leadership decided to add two games so the other four teams -- Corsicana, Sulphur Springs, Crandall and Forney could complete a seven-game district schedule.
Wasson and his Tigers want to make these games count to help the program.
"It has been hard," Wasson said. "We've been hitting it and hitting it week in and week out. We all like rewards. It's been very challenging, but now we get to play these two games.
"We need to end the season winning these two games," he said. "We're going into these game staying optimistic. It's been a crazy year, but we've been saying that we need to keep fighting and keep playing hard."