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Battle of the unbeatens

Reedy, Aledo square off in state quarterfinals

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Reedy’s offensive line is one of the most dominant units in the state. They’ll look to maintain that success on Saturday against No. 1-ranked Aledo.

The matchup many folks in Frisco have been waiting for since the start of the postseason is finally here, as undefeated Reedy takes on unbeaten and No. 1 state-ranked Aledo in the Class 5A Region II final.

These two juggernauts have been on a collision course since the playoff brackets were established last month and the time is now for these 13-0 squads to duke it out on the gridiron.

“Our kids are excited about the opportunity,” said Chad Cole, Reedy head coach. “You have to run across somebody of this caliber at some point and what better time to do it.”

However, this isn’t just any other opponent, and Cole and his ballclub are fully aware of what the Bearcats bring to the table.

Aledo is the most decorated 5A program in Texas over the last decade with a whopping six state titles since the 2009 campaign when it won its first of three straight championships.

Its latest title run came in 2016 after going 16-0 and Aledo was a game away from hoisting another championship a year ago before a 20-19 loss to College Station derailed hopes of another back-to-back reign.

With that being said, this year’s squad may be one of the best Aledo has had yet after steamrolling its way to 13 victories – all of which came by double digits.

In fact, all of the Bearcats wins had come by at least three scores up until last week when they defeated a much-improved South Oak Cliff team, 28-14, for their closest test yet.

But Reedy enters this showdown as no slouch either, albeit in just its third-ever varsity season, and the Lions are more than ready to take on their biggest challenge in school history.

“Our kids are confident from the wins they have and by the way they are performing,” Cole said. “We understand that Aledo is a really talented team, but what’s to say we can’t give these guys a ballgame?”

If Reedy is going to hand Aledo its first loss since Dec. 23 of last year, it is going to have to contain five-star running back Jase McClellan.

McClellan is the real deal out of the backfield and has received offers from nearly every big-time Division I school that includes Alabama, Texas, Georgia and Michigan but verbally committed to Oklahoma in June.

In just his junior season, the superstar running back has put up gaudy numbers – 2,047 yards on the ground to along with 44 touchdowns, and two weeks ago against Lovejoy he had his way with the Leopards by scampering for 308 with four scores.

“We have to do the best we can at keeping him bottled up and not letting him get started,” Cole said. “Once he gets started, he’s going to take it to the house. He is obviously the point of emphasis on their offense, and he’s priority No. 1.”

The Oklahoma commit isn’t the only future Division I player to worry about with TCU commit Wyatt Harris spearheading a linebacking group that Cole claims is the strength of the defense.

Alongside Harris are two other standouts in junior Max Lucas and senior McCain Smith that Reedy’s massive offensive line will need to account for in both the running game and pass blocking.

Besides limiting McClellan and establishing the run game against Aledo’s physical front seven, another key to victory in this highly anticipated contest will be weathering the storm early and not getting discouraged when the Bearcats go on a run.

“We have to ride the ups and downs and not be overly frustrated when they make a run,” Cole said. “That’s going to happen, and we’ll have to keep our heads up. We haven’t had much of that adversity this year, so that’s a true key for us.”

Kickoff between Reedy and Aledo is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Justin Northwest ISD Stadium.

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