As you can see from my bracketology post before the postseason started, it almost seemed inevitable that Denison and Aledo would be meeting this weekend for a chance to play in the Class 4A Division II state championship game.
Denison has steamrolled through the postseason behind its seasoned crew, especially on the offensive side of the ball behind senior quarterback Jordan Taylor and senior running back D.J. Jones. The duo was dynamic in last week's revenge win over Sulphur Springs in the state quarterfinal, when Jones combined for 278 total yards (112 receiving, 168 rushing) and found the end zone five times and Taylor rushed for 223 yards. The Yellow Jackets have averaged 46.2 points per game and haven't lost since the second game of the season when they scored a season-low 21 points in a loss to Big Spring.
Aledo on the other hand, is using everything other than senior leadership. The Bearcats were set up to be a serious state title contender maybe next year or in two years, but not many folks expected this. Aledo is led by two sophomores on offense in QB Matt Bishop and RB Johnathan Gray, who's been a stat machine this year and has taken on the workload of being a primary runner on a state title contender as a sophomore. But what's really gotten Aledo this far has been the play of its defense, which has given up just 23 points per game. Aledo is coming off an impressive win over Everman and hasn't faced a postseason challenge since Round 2 when they were taken to overtime by heated rival Stephenville, who Aledo also beat in the regular-season opener.
This game is really a toss-up, and it could go either way, but for the sake of picking, I'll go with experience here and say that Taylor and Jones will finally get over that hump in their final year as Yellow Jackets. Prediction: Denison 34, Aledo 28.