Technically, Friday night is the final night of the regular season, and according to the UIL, the state playoffs don’t begin until next week.

However, make no mistake about it, because of Zone play in District 30-5A, the Alice Coyotes are playing for their playoff lives when they go head-to-head against the Corpus Christi Moody Trojans Friday night in Memorial Stadium.

Alice is the North Zone’s second-place team and Moody is third in the South. And while the Class 5A state playoffs are a week away, the winner moves on to the bi-district round against Floresville, while the losing team calls it a season.

Adding to the urgency of Friday night’s game is that Alice and Floresville coaches have already met to iron out detail if they are to play next week, and those coin flips went Alice’s way. In short, if the Coyotes beat the Trojans Friday, they earn a bi-district game at home against Floresville.

None of this is lost on Alice coach Kyle Atwood and the Coyotes.

“This is the playoffs,” Atwood said. “For us, this is the playoffs, because if we win we go on and if we lose we stay home.”

The Trojans are 6-3 for the season. They come into the Alice game having lost two of their last three. They lost to Veterans Memorial, 45-14, and Flour Bluff, 36-9. The Trojans beat King, 32-13, to claim third in the South.

Alice was able to get by Tuloso-Midway, 21-19, Friday to have the chance to play Moody. It wasn’t the Coyotes’ best outing, but Atwood hopes it serves as a “wake-up call” of sorts.

“We did the same stuff we’ve been doing all season, we just didn’t play our best football,” Atwood said. “I think if we play like we’re able to, we’ll do well.”