The only thing that prevents the short bus trip from Tara to nearby Broadmoor from being clear sailing is a stoplight at the intersection of Goodwood and Airline.

An intersection provides the appropriate analogy for the two District 6-4A rivals who are already fighting for their football playoff lives.

It has been anything but clear sailing for the two teams at times in 2011. The next major intersection, or crossroads, comes Thursday night as Broadmoor (3-3, 1-2) hosts Tara (2-4, 0-2).

With just four games left in the season, each game and every victory is crucial as the Trojans and Bucs look to garner a playoff berth behind league frontrunners St. Michael, Lutcher and Plaquemine. Game time is 7 p.m.

“Last week was good for us because we were able to do some things, play together well as a team and get a win,” Tara coach Ron LeJeune said. “No doubt this is a big one for both teams.

“I know Broadmoor has had some struggles, too. So it’s going to be interesting.”

Tara’s 47-14 nondistrict win over a New Orleans team, Sarah Reed, snapped a two-game losing streak.

The Trojans lost to Lutcher and Plaquemine to open their 6-4A season.

Broadmoor can relate. The Bucs won three straight before losses to Lutcher (5-1, 3-0) and Plaquemine (3-3, 2-0) the past two weeks.

A 37-0 loss to a surging Plaquemine team last week only highlighted the struggles for the Bucs, who have had injury issues.

“For the most part, kids are very resilient,” Broadmoor coach Rusty Price said. “They’ll bounce back and they’ll do their best to do whatever you ask.

“But we’re having to shift people around because of injuries. It really is a domino effect. You have to train two new guys, not just one. That can weaken the resiliency some. And on top of that, we have a short week to prepare.”

Two junior quarterbacks figure to play a key role. Tara’s John Washington passed for 251 yards last week and three touchdowns and now has 949 yards on the season. Running back Tyrick Nelson had seven catches for 156 yards and scored three TDs for the Trojans, who run a spread formation.

Broadmoor’s option offense is triggered by Joshua Rogers, who helped key the Bucs three-game winning streak. Devontae Thomas led the Bucs with 56 rushing yards last week.

“We’ve both had games where we’ve played pretty well and others where we haven’t,” Price said. “It may depend on which teams show up for both of us.”