Keller Central on pace to clinch 1st playoff berth

Keller Central is on track to make the playoffs for the first time in school history out of a top-heavy District 7-5A.

Key wins over Keller and Keller Fossil Ridge have allowed Central (5-2, 3-1) to surface to fourth place in 7-5A behind Coppell, Denton Guyer and Southlake Carroll.

Central still has to play Coppell and Carroll, but with just three games remaining and a two-game lead on the rest of the district, a win over Justin Northwest in two weeks would likely clinch it for the Chargers.

Improved play on offense is a big reason why Central has already surpassed its highest single-season win total. The Chargers average more than a touchdown per game more than they did in 2009.

Running back C.J. Kirk has 856 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year. Quarterback Tanner Tausch, who took over under center with three games left in 2009, has provided some stability at the position, throwing for 1,295 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“Our kids are motivated to try to get someplace we’ve never been before,” said Bart Helsley, Central's head coach since the team’s inaugural season in 2004. “You always hope there’s a good chemistry with the kids. We started to see some of that in the spring and the summer and felt pretty good about it and knew it was one of the most important things for us to be better, to have good team chemistry.”

Central plays at Carroll on Friday.