The Brock Eagles are playing at AT&T Stadium Thursday. And while they are obviously excited because of the venue and it is the state semifinals, it is the game in the same stadium the following Wednesday in which they hope to be playing.
To do that, the Eagles (12-2) will have to defeat Kemp (13-1) in the state semifinals. The Yellowjackets will be the fourth consecutive playoff opponent with a better record than the Eagles, something not usual since Brock is 53-6 in its short history of playing University Interscholastic League football.
Brock reached this round with a resounding 34-7 win over Comanche (12-2).
The winner between Brock and Kemp will face the winner between Rockdale (11-3) and Yoakum (13-1)/Goliad (12-1) in the 3A Division I state championship, back at AT&T Stadium, on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 3 p.m.
ALEDO CLOSING IN ON REPEAT PERFECTION
The Aledo Bearcats have accomplished a lot of things in their football history, including six state championships in the past six years. One thing they have not done, however, is post back-to-back unbeaten seasons.
The Bearcats (14-0) can do that this season. They ran their win streak to 30 straight with Saturday's 43-7 win over Richland. They were 16-0 last season en route to the Class 5A Division II state title.
That set up a rematch with Mansfield Legacy (12-2) in this year's 5A Division II state quarterfinals. The winner of that game will face the winner between College Station (12-2) and Austin McCallum (14-0) in the state championship game at AT&T Stadium Dec. 23 at 11 a.m.
This week's playoff games...
Class 5A Division II state semifinals
Aledo Bearcats (14-0) vs. Mansfield Legacy Broncos (12-2)
2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, Pennington Field.
▪ Last season: Aledo 16-0, Division II state champions. Legacy 11-3, Division I Region II finals.
▪ Series history: Aledo leads 2-0.
▪ Last week: Aledo 43, Richland 7. Legacy 24, Frisco Lone Star 20.
▪ Returning starters: Aledo 3 offense/5 defense. Legacy 5 offense/5 defense.
▪ Aledo players to watch: QB Jake Bishop (63 percent completions, 2,125 yards, 27 TD, 7 int) threw three TD in Saturday's win. LB Aaron Hale (95 tackles).
▪ Legacy players to watch: RB Grant Johnson (215 carries, 1,456 yards, 16 TD), FS Jalen Catalon (89 tackles, 66 solo, 3 int.).
▪ Notable: As impressive as Aledo's 129-8 record since 2009 is, consider that it includes a 45-2 postseason record. This season the Bearcats offense averages 292 yards rushing and 155 passing and they outscoring their foes on average by five touchdowns, with the defense posting a pair of shutouts and holding another to a field goal. Legacy also runs the ball more (256 yards per game) than pass (107). The Broncos have a chance to avenge a 24-3 loss at Aledo in the season's third game. While the Legacy defense has no shutouts, they have held four opponents to a touchdown or less and held the Bearcats to their lowest score of the season.
Class 3A Division I state semifinals
Brock Eagles (12-2) vs. Kemp Yellowjackets (13-1)
Thursday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m., AT&T Stadium, Arlington
▪ Last season: Brock 13-1, 5-0, Region I finalist. Kemp 7-4, bidistrict. Teams did not play.
▪ Series history: First meeting.
▪ Last week: Brock 34, Comanche 7. Kemp 13, 13, Grandview 10.
▪ Returning starters: Brock 3 offense/5 defense. Kemp 7 offense/10 defense.
▪ Brock players to watch: QB Tripp Jones (53 percent completions, 1,107 yards, 11 TD, 5 int.) only threw twice against Comanche, but one went for a 39-yard TD to Jake Tesky (11 catches, 249 yards, 3 TD). He also ran for a 36-yard TD.
▪ Kemp players to watch: RB Jordan Kempf has rushed for over 200 yards in several games this season.
▪ Notable: What's new, the Eagles are competing for a state championship, something they've done each year since they began playing in the University Interscholastic League in 2014 (winning state and going 16-0 in 2015). They are 53-5 in that span. This season, with their usual staunch running game that averages over 300 yards per game. Brock is outscoring their opponents by a 43-12 average. The defense has held seven opponents to one TD or less. The Yellowjackets are enjoying perhaps the best season in school history after having been one of the worst teams around. Kemp won just eight games from 2009-14, but is in the postseason for a third straight year. Like Brock, their strength is the running game. They average 44 points and surrender 19, with the defense holding five opponents to a TD or below.