Elysian Fields was in a fight for its playoff life last Saturday night in Lufkin, clinging to a two-point lead late in the fourth quarter as Deweyville appeared poised to deliver a heartbreaking end to the Yellow Jackets' season.

The 'Jackets rose the occasion, forcing and recovering a fumble in their own territory with 40 seconds remaining, keeping their season going for at least more week.

“We always preach on how to respond to adversity," Elysian Fields coach Eric King said. "Adversity shapes you. Bad things happen in life, you either stay on the mat or get up. We’re kinda like Rocky.”

The big defensive play made sure quarterback Trevor Spear's performance did not go to waste. Spear rushed for 111 yards and all three touchdowns, adding a pair of two-point conversions.

“Trevor’s a gamer," King said. "You hear people say that and I don’t know that you can define it, but if you could it’s someone like Trevor who refuses to lose. He’s pretty confident in his abilities, but he’s also a great young man. He’s yes sir, no sir and he’s been raised well.

"Whether it’s football, basketball, track or baseball he just wants to compete. He loves sports, hates losing and loves to win.”

For the season, Spear has completed 88 of 141 attempts (62.4 percent) for 1,667 yards and 21 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing with 954 yards and 18 TDs.

“Trevor has really done a great job all season," King said. "He’s become a more complete quarterback. Last year as a starter he was more of a runner. He wasn’t a complete passer, he wanted to get out of the pocket and didn’t wait for his progressions. Our offensive coaching staff has really helped him with this progressions.”

Spear has been instrumental in the recent success for the Elysian Fields, which has won four straight and eight of nine.

“If you look at a team in Week 1 and then in Week 12, it’s polar opposites and that goes for any team," King said. "We stopped listening to outsiders. In any program in Texas, there are going to be outside voices whether that’s fans, students or other schools. Our kids have bought in to what’s being said in the fieldhouse and on the practice field.”

Elysian Fields (9-3) will get a chance to avenge one of its three losses when the 'Jackets meet Arp (9-2) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Carthage for a Class 2A Division II Region III semifinal.

In the earlier meeting, a 43-13 victory for Arp, Elysian Fields had trouble slowing Arp's fast and furious offensive attack that racked up 402 total yards.

“They were fast," King said of Arp. "We didn’t play very well, and some of that was on us, but a lot of that was on them. Their speed can make you look pretty bad. That game really made us look at what we needed to improve on.”

Since the defeat, Elysian Fields has just one loss, giving the 'Jackets renewed confidence.

“I think it’s just attitude," King said. "We can look at it two ways: Arp’s a good team and we’re going to be playing our last playoff game this week, or we can go out there, play our best game of the year and win. The playoffs are a wild deal, anything can happen in the playoffs.”