The three-time defending state champ Aledo Bearcats will face their toughest test of the season Friday in a showdown with Denton Guyer in the area round of the 4A Division I playoffs.
It won't be the first time the teams have met this year. They squared off in a scrimmage, the second year in row the schools have done so.
Class 4A Division I area round
Aledo (10-1) vs. Denton Guyer (9-2)
2 p.m. Friday
Northwest ISD Stadium
With neither team able to find a willing opponent, the two powerhouses signed a two-year scrimmage contract, agreeing to face each other before the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
At that point Guyer was classified as a 5A school. With Aledo being 4A, the possibility the two might face each other wasn't even a thought.
That changed this year when Guyer dropped to 4A because of decreased enrollment.
Did Aledo coach Tim Buchanan and his staff dig out those old scrimmage tapes?
"We did take a look at the video," Buchanan said with a laugh. "The coaches and I had a good laugh because a lot of the kids who are starting now weren't even on the field in those scrimmages. But here we are facing each other in the second round of the playoffs."
Aledo beat Cleburne 45-7 and Guyer topped Saginaw 42-14 in first-round games on Friday.
Headed by a tough defense that has allowed an average of 7.1 points a game, this year's squad appears to be a more complete team than the 2010 and 2011 squads that relied heavily on the legs of then-star running back Johnathan Gray.
"We are playing really good defense, that's No. 1," Buchanan said. "Everything we do starts on there, and we'll try to score points after that."
Buchanan knows that his team must be ready against Guyer, which averages 45 points and 309 rushing yards a game
"Half of our guys were on varsity last year. They understand the concept of the playoffs: if you have a bad game you'll be starting your off-season the following Monday," he said.
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