The question has remained constant all throughout the season, especially in the playoffs: Can anyone stop the Aledo Bearcats?
Aledo (14-0) defeated Saginaw Boswell 42-14 last week to advance to a 10th state semifinal in 13 years. The Bearcats play Mesquite Poteet (11-3) in Class 5A Division II game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ford Center in Frisco.
“This is just another game,” senior quarterback Dillon Davis said. “We’re going to attack it like we do every other game. You’ve got stay level-headed and focused on the task at hand. I think the maturity of our team and having been in these types of situations definitely helps our chances of success.”
The Bearcats, who ended the regular season No. 1 in The Associated Press state poll, have scored at least 40 points in every game for a total of 821 — an average of 58.6. The defense is allowing 18.3 points a game.
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“I think our offense is pretty much on top of their game, and I think we’ve definitely improved defensively, especially in the playoffs,” Aledo coach Steve Wood said. “We’ve just got to continue to do those things.”
By comparison, Poteet has scored 476 points on offense and has allowed one 40-point game on defense. The Pirates trailed 17-10 in the third quarter last week before rallying to defeat No. 6 Lancaster 34-27.
“We’re going up against a very athletic, fast football team that seems to be just hitting their stride at the right time,” Wood said. “I’d like to think we’re also on top of our game right now.”
Poteet advances to its first state semifinal since 2010. The Pirates nearly beat Aledo 29-27 that year in the 4A (now 5A) Division II playoffs.
Since the start of the 2010 postseason, Aledo is 33-2 in the 35 playoffs. The losses were in 2012, in the 4A Division I area round against Denton Guyer, and in last year’s 5A Division I state semifinal against Mansfield Lake Ridge.
“We haven’t brought it up,” Wood said of the Lake Ridge loss. “Last year was last year, and this year is this year.”
This year, Davis has thrown for 3,517 yards and 43 touchdowns. Running backs Michael Jordan, Donnie Evans and Jase McClellan have combined for 3,224 yards and 56 touchdowns. Receivers Logan Bridges and Hunter Rosson have accounted for 1,964 yards and 26 scores.
“We set the bar that high, to win state or it’s a failure. That’s kind of our mindset,” Davis said. “I think it’s the mindset you’ve got to have. If you’re playing, you’re playing to win. You’re not just playing and saying whatever happens happens.”
The defense recorded 103 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions in the Boswell win but, regardless, the Bearcats will always have a target on them.
“We’ve got a pretty big bull’s-eye out there on our chest, but that’s all right,” Wood said. “We don’t control that, we just control us, so we need to just bring our best game Friday.”