When thinking of best bets for a deep playoff run and a UIL state football title, Aledo jumps to the top of the list.
How consistent have the Bearcats been?
Aledo (10-0) has made the playoffs every year since 1996, but not only that — the Bearcats have never lost a first-round game in that span.
The Bearcats begin their quest for a sixth state title in eight years at 7 p.m. Thursday against Wichita Falls Rider (4-6) at Northwest ISD Stadium in the Class 5A Division II bi-district round.
Aledo is averaging 60.9 points per game and has scored at least 41 points in every game. Quarterback Dillon Davis has thrown for 2,616 yards and 33 touchdowns. Running backs Donnie Evans, Michael Jordan and Jase McClellan have combined for 2,260 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Bearcats are giving up 18 points per game, averaging three sacks per game, and have 25 takeaways on the season.
Other teams to watch
Southlake Carroll (9-1): The Dragons dropped the season opener 21-10 to Tulsa (Okla.) Union only to follow it up with nine straight wins. No. 2 DeSoto, however, looms in the second round. Running back Audricke Gaines has rushed for 1,127 yards and 17 TDs this season, including 240 yards and four TDs last week against Hebron. Carroll is averaging 38.3 points per game while allowing 17.5 points.
Mansfield (8-2): Can the Tigers repeat 2015 and get back to the state semifinals? With Kennedy Brooks (2,120 rush, 25 TDs), anything is possible. Mansfield is averaging 40 points per game and allowing 20 points. The Tigers could potentially meet former head coach Jeff Hulme and Waco Midway in the third round.
Mansfield Legacy (8-2): The Broncos are averaging 40.8 points per game with losses only to No. 1 Aledo and No. 6 Lancaster. Legacy has a shot at going to the third round for the second time in school history, where it could meet No. 8 Texarkana Texas (10-0). Seniors Kendall Catalon (37 total TDs) and Kameron Session (1,600 rush, 13 TDs) and sophomore Jalen Catalon (14.4 tackles per game) lead the way.
Justin Northwest (9-1): The Texans have a tough challenge in the first round at Denton (9-1). If Northwest wins, not only will it be the Texans’ first playoff win, but they also have a shot of a deep playoff run behind their triple threat of Prince Mavula (2,740 pass, 30 TDs), Syrus Moore (1,458, 18 TDs) and Gavin Holmes (1,406 receiving, 16 TDs).
Brock (10-0): The Eagles are tied for the longest active winning streak in the state at 26 games, behind Bremond’s 41. Will anyone stop Brock from winning a second straight state title? The Eagles are averaging 51.6 points per game and allowing 8.8 points.