The Sacred Heart Tigers found themselves in an odd situation to close out their regular season. They were technically playing a district game against Lubbock Trinity Christian, but the Lions are a division bigger than the Tigers, so the game had no influence on either team’s playoff situations.

The Tigers still finished as the top seed and earned a bye before their first playoff game next week.

As a result, head coach Dale Schilling said there wasn’t a ton of game-planning done for the game and once the game got out of control, the Tigers were content to get out of the game without injuries as they fell 39-6.

“It was a meaningless game and we needed to play it because it was a district game,” Schilling said. “Luckily we came out of it with just a few bumps and bruises. We worked on things offensively for the playoffs by throwing a few wrinkles in, but overall, it wasn’t a really good performance by us. Had it been a meaningful game, we would have taken a different approach.”

Schilling wasn’t bent out of shape over the loss, but there were a few bright spots, especially early in the game. Sacred Heart trailed 10-6 early, but the Lions began to pull away in the second quarter.

“We played pretty good the first quarter,” Schilling said. “We held them to a field goal on their first drive and a missed field goal on their second. It was close early, but they scored two quick touchdowns and the wheels fell off.”

Schilling said the flat performance from his team was something he hopes changes next week and he took responsibility for that.

“We were as flat as we’ve been all year and that was the worst football game we played all year,” Schilling said.

While Schilling would have been against the bye week if the Tigers were playing well, he said it won’t be as bad because the team needs to heal up before the playoffs.

“We’re still practicing every day and hopefully we’ll be in good shape physically and mentally,” Schilling said. “It’s a well-needed rest. If we had won, then it might have been different because it would have been a five-game winning streak.”

The Tigers are 4-4 on the season and are primed for a long playoff run with junior quarterback Seth Swirczynski back at the helm after his brother’s season came to an end due to a broken collarbone.

Schilling said Swirczynski fit right back in at quarterback.

“He never missed a beat,” Schilling said. “He stepped right in and took command of the team. He did just fine and that’s how we’ll move forward. We went 11-1 last year and won a playoff game with him. He’s got the experience and he’s got the savvy and he’s got the confidence.”

The Tigers will face the winner of Fort Worth Temple Christian and Dallas First Baptist next Friday.

Schilling said they know both teams very well and that bodes well for Sacred Heart.

“We know one team likes to throw the ball a lot and one team likes to throw the ball a lot, so we’re working on both of those, but we’re mainly work on ourselves this week,” Schilling said. “We’re doing fundamentals and stuff you would do at the beginning of the season, but at a less physical scale. If we stay healthy and don’t turn the ball over, we’ve got a great chance.”

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