Much like the Midlothian Heritage High School boys' and girls' Jaguars and unlike may of their District 10-5A counterparts, the Panthers and Lady Panthers of Midlothian each punched tickets to bi-district-round berths.
The girls will face Joshua High School at 6 p.m. Friday at Kennedale's Wildcat Stadium and the boys will face Burleson High School at 7 p.m. Friday at R.L. Anderson Stadium.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Under Austin Guest, the Panthers finished 14-4-3 overall and 8-3-3 in District 10-5A, notching signature wins against Mansfield Summit, Mansfield Timberview and Red Oak High Schools and a nil-nil tie against district champion Waxahachie High School. Though they closed the last five games of their season 2-1-1, the Midlothian boys' team defense improved.
The Panthers allowed only five goals in their last five games.
The Lady Panthers, with the guidance of Head Coach Sid Danner, finished 12-10 overall and 8-6 in District 10-5A and claimed the No. 4 seed behind Mansfield Legacy, Mansfield Lake Ridge and Red Oak High Schools. Midlothian's girls, though, have won three of their last five games while scoring 18 goals in the process.
Their only goals came during a 2-0 loss to Mansfield Lake Ridge on Feb. 28 and a 2-1 loss to Red Oak on March 7.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
While both teams reached the 6A postseason last year, only the girls reached past the bi-district round. The Panthers were eliminated after a 2-0 March 24 loss to Southlake Carroll High School.
It was the first year in three seasons the boys made it to the playoffs. Their opponents, Burleson's Elks, finished their district schedule 7-1-6 after going a combined 1-22 during the previous two seasons.
The Lady Panthers reached the area round of the 6A playoffs but fell 3-2 against Flower Mound High School after finishing with 16-6-5 overall and 9-2-2 district records. It was the fifth consecutive season for Midlothian's varsity girls' team to reach at least the second round of the playoffs.
Joshua (18-2-1, 12-2), the District 9-5A Champion, reached the area round of the playoffs in 2014 and 2016 and the regional quarterfinal round in 2015.