It will be an old opponent in a new district when the Class 5A state-ranked No. 1 Aledo Bearcats travel to Burleson to face the Centennial Spartans in the District 5-5A opener.
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. today at Burleson ISD Stadium.
The two teams – who last faced each other in 2015 in a District 8-5A contest at Aledo – are part of the new District 5-5A, and the opener represents the first of eight district games for both teams.
Bearcats head coach Steve Wood said it is unusual for Aledo to start district play this early. In most recent seasons, the Bearcats have played three non-district games followed by an open week before beginning district play.
“The games count now,” Wood said. “We are in a nine-team district so we have eight district ball games, so this season our third game of the year is a district game.”
Centennial runs the old-school “triple option” offense which it calls the “Flexbone” to take advantage of the skills of quarterback Kyle Burns. Burns has started on fire to begin the season. The senior has rushed for 239 yards on 45 carries (5.3 yards per carry) in two games while scoring three touchdowns. He was four-for-eight with two TD passes last week against Denison, a Spartans’ 52-49 win.
Bearcats head coach Steve Wood said not only is a triple option offense hard to stop because the players don’t see it much, but added that it is an offense that is hard to simulate in practice, and therefore, hard to prepare for.
“Centennial’s offensive lineman come off the ball low – and you don’t see that much anymore – and they try to cut the defensive linemen.” he said. “We are going to have to be sound on our defensive assignments. Somebody has to take the dive back; somebody has to take the quarterback; and somebody has to take the pitch man. If one defender messes up it ends up being a big play.
“Centennial does a good job of running the triple option – they scored 52 points last week. Kyle Burns is a big and fast quarterback, their backs aren’t as big but they are fast, and their offensive line is big. To me, this will be the best offense we have played so far. We have to really hold up on the defensive line, and our kids will have to battle. We can’t let them knock us off the ball.”
To continue this article see the Sept. 14 issue of The Community News.
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