If there is any question who the Most Valuable Player of Sherman’s defense is, there he was on the sideline Friday night wearing a boot.

If there is any question who the Most Valuable Player of Sherman’s defense is, there he was on the sideline Friday night wearing a boot.


The last two games have made apparent just how much of a game-changer Tarrence Franklin is at defensive tackle. Teams didn’t dare challenge the middle of the line with Franklin in the lineup. Without him, teams ran up the middle and with great success. For the second week in a row, the Bearcats allowed a running back to gain 202 yards, largely on runs up the middle.


Two early mistakes on special teams helped turn the tide against the Bearcats. They dodged one bullet by holding Wylie East after an onside kick and then stopped them again after tying the game on Case Rolen’s pass to Treyson Jones. But a roughing-the-punter penalty kept another Raider drive alive, leading to the go-ahead touchdown. (It was an extremely iffy call, the player barely brushed East punter Garrett McCain, but McCain sold it well and he got the flag.)


I won’t fault the coaches for electing to go for it on fourth-and-4 at their own 45 on the opening possession of the second half. It was the type of game where the only way to win was to play keep-away, and that’s what Sherman tried to do. The Raiders probably would’ve driven for a score anyway had the Bearcats punted there, and the Raiders did score on their next three possessions to put the game away.


So where does this leave the Bearcats in the playoff picture? It’s not a hopeless situation at all. Three wins in the last four games should get Sherman into the playoffs, and four wins definitely would. The Bearcats need to beat the teams they’re supposed to beat — Royse City and Greenville — which leaves Lovejoy and Wylie as the swing games.


In sport after sport this calendar year, we’ve seen Bearcat boys teams rally big-time after being left for dead. It happened in basketball, where the Bearcats forced a play-in, won it to get in the playoffs, and then pulled a first-round upset. And it happened in baseball, where Sherman was 1-7 in district, won its last six in a row, and also forced a play-in game.


There are no play-in games in Texas football, so Sherman will have to win its way into the postseason straight-up. But it’s not an impossible task.


Finally, I think all who are associated with the Bearcat program is happy to put the events of the last two weeks behind them. The focus can now be solely on football. The fallout over ArkieGate has settled, and now let’s see what happens between the lines.