Aledo Bearcats (10-1) vs. Denton Broncos (9-2) Preview
What: Class 5A Division I Region I Area Round
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Northwest High School Stadium, Justin
Notable: Each week it seems another obscure, yet impressive statistic surfaces about the Bearcats, who are going for a sixth state championship in seven seasons. How about they've scored at least 29 points in 23 straight playoff games. The Bearcats offense, led by 1,000-yard rushers Caleb Primera (1,063 yards, 24 TD) and Donnie Evans (1,048 yards, 15 TD) is once again one of the best to be found. However, the defense has risen to new heights as the pivotal part of the season has arrived. In a 76-0 bi-district win over Trimble Tech, they held the Bulldogs to minus 3 total yards. Two games earlier they held Granbury to minus 32 rushing yards. Denton, meanwhile, narrowly got by Grapevine 12-11 in their bi-district match-up. It would seem stopping the Broncos would mean stopping running back Xavier Scott (2,284 yards, 25 TD). However, quarterback Colt Atkinson (2,030 yards, 20 TD, 5 int.) has something to say about that, as does wide receiver Emerson Espinoza (45 catches, 699 yards, 9 TD).
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So, too, might the Broncos defense, which featured two clutch interceptions by Espinoza at defensive back. While they aren't as potent offensively as Aledo, the Broncos have topped 35 points eight times this season. Aledo won the only previous meeting the two, eliminating the Broncos in the second round last season with a 49-17 victory.
- Richard Allen