The H.M. King Brahmas (2-8, 1-3) dropped their regular season finale to the Hidalgo Pirates (8-2, 3-1), 20-24 Friday night, which eliminated the Bulls from a playoff spot in the Class 4A Football Playoffs for the first time in nine years.
District 16-4A had a three-way tie at the bottom half of the standings, and only four of the five teams in the district are allowed to advance the playoffs.
Grulla, Zapata and H.M. King all finished with a district record of 1-3, which HMK Head Coach Michael Davila said put certain rules in the district into effect to determine the tiebreaker.
The first is a rule on head-to-head matchups.
Because H.M. King lost to Zapata, but beat Grulla, and because Grulla beat Zapata, the head-to-head matchups were thrown out, Davila said.
The second way to determine a tie breaker is through “power points,” Davila said, which help determine the tiebreaker if the head-to-head matchup cannot be used to select a playoff team.
The final scores in games determine power points.
However, in a three-way tie, the first tiebreaker goes to the top two in power points, and the second tiebreaker on the bottom two teams goes back to the head-to-head matchup.
The final score between Zapata and Grulla was 31-19, with Grulla as the winner, granting them a chance to claim a playoff spot on power points.
HMK’s win over Grulla was 28-21, which gave Grulla a total of five power points.
That Bulls’ win gave HMK seven power points, but because of the loss to Zapata by five, 30-35, the Bulls only received two power points, which granted Grulla the first tiebreaker.
Although Zapata finished with negative six power points, because the district standings revert back to the head-to-head matchup in case of another tiebreaker, and Zapata beat the Brahmas, when Grulla scored another touchdown in their contest against Zapata, the Hawks were granted the playoff spot.
“I did my best to fight for my kids to get what they deserve,” Davila said. “But, rules are rules for the district and that’s what was voted on. I can promise you this, the next district meeting for the next realignment, I will be fighting for the district to go by power points. The reason you go by power points, is because power points keep you honest. Power points make you play all the way through games.”
Davila said it was a tough season, but he hopes to come back stronger next season, so the team doesn’t have to go through this situation again.