Hillcrest and Thomas Jefferson high schools are separated by less than four miles along Walnut Hill Lane. On Tuesday, a boys soccer game between the two rival schools will have much more than neighborhood bragging rights on the line.
The Panthers and Patriots will meet in the Class 5A Region II quarterfinals for the right to advance to this weekend’s regional tournament. Tuesday’s game will kick off at 6 p.m. at Franklin Stadium.
Hillcrest reached the third round of the playoffs with a 4-3 win over Cleburne on Friday in the area round, thanks to two goals by Yaya Dosso. Thomas Jefferson knocked off Mansfield Summit by a 4-2 score behind a hat trick from Kevin Chavez.
The teams split a pair of one-goal games during the regular season, with Hillcrest (20-4) winning 4-3 and TJ earning a 1-0 victory. The Panthers finished second in the District 11-5A standings, while the Patriots (11-8-2) were third.
However, Tuesday’s game will include much higher stakes than those previous clashes. The loser will be eliminated, while the winner will advance to meet either Frisco Wakeland or Frisco Heritage on Friday.