Aledo vs. Highland Park
Time: 7 p.m., Saturday
Site: Eagle Stadium (Allen ISD)
155 Rivercrest Blvd — Allen
Type: Season opener, non-district — Tom Landry Classic
Last year: Aledo 31, Highland Park 12
Highland Park Scots (0-0)
Last season: 9-2 overall, 7-0 in District 10-4A,
Class 4A, DI bi-district finalist.
Last week: N/A
Players to watch: DL Andrew Clyde (6-2, 230, 4.9), DL Jack Cerveha (6.5, 235, 4.9), LB Tanner Houghton (5-10, 186, 4.8), QB Brooks Burgin (6-1, 180, 4.7), Stephen Dieb (5.6, 150, 4.7).
Aledo Bearcats (0-0)
Last season: 10-2 overall, 7-0 in District 7-4A ,
Class 4A, DI area finalist.
Last week: N/A
Players to watch: LB Jordan Mittie (6-2, 210, 4.8), OT Cory Stitle (6-2, 265, 5.0), QB Luke Bishop (5-10, 170, 4.7), ATH Ryan Newsome (5-8, 168, 4.5), FB Daythan Davis (6-2. 218, 4.7)
Game notes: Despite bringing just one offensive starter back from 2012, when one considers Highland Park's year-to-year "reload," one is tempted to think of Aledo. Dominating in its own district, second-stringers get lots of varsity experience in second-half play, which takes away a few of the jitters in early ball games. But HP will still trot a bright-eyed junior onto the field at quarterback in Brooks Burgin, though he will have a talented corps of receivers to choose from.
The Scots defense is in better shape, experience-wise, especially on the front two layers. The pressure will be on the line to hurry-up the quarterback, as the secondary could be vulnerable to the Bearcats speed burners on the perimeters.
Aledo's skill positions are talented, and deep ... again. Luke Bishop will be solid at quarterback and, just to mess with the defense, which means find another way to move the ball, move-in Ryan Newsome will add another wrinkle when coaches move him from slot receiver to take snaps.
Any early concerns about the Bearcats' scoring machine may rest with the O-line gelling quickly enough, but Aledo has enough weapons to offset any real or perceived weaknesses up front.