Dallas Christian carries high hopes into the TAPPS Division II playoffs.
The Chargers are 9-1, with the only blemish being a loss to two-time defending state champion Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill.
Dallas Christian would like nothing more than another shot at the champs, but they must take care of business first and they are not looking past a 5-5 Fort Worth Christian team in the opening round.
A year ago, the Chargers had a rematch with TC-Cedar Hill in their sights, but Fort Worth Christian denied them that chance with a 27-10 victory to knock them out of the playoffs.
Dallas Christian gets its chance at revenge when it hosts the Cardinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Charger Stadium.
The Chargers knew what they had in players like TJ King, but quarterback Zack Haaland has been a breakout performer.
Haaland has thrown for 1,285 yards and 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions, while rushing for 847 yards and 15 scores.
King has produced when asked, with 113 carries for 752 yards (6.7 ypc) and six touchdowns, while Parker Robertson has added a big-play element both rushing, where he is averaging 10.3 yards per carry (33-339, 4 TDs) and receiving (20-281, 4 TDs).
Robertson is one of four players with at least 10 catches, led by Peyton Veasley, who has 24 catches for 433 yards and five sores.
Zach Reid has been a force on the defensive side of the ball, with a team-high 82 tackles, with 11 for loss, and 12 sacks. King has made 77 stops with 11 for loss, while Sam Johnson (65 tackles), Matthew Mata (56 tackles), Robertson (53 tackles), Brett Judd (47 tackles), Tyler Winfree (45 tackles, 11 TFL) and Blaine Bills (42 tackles, 8 TFL) have also been steady.
The secondary has been a strength for the Chargers, particularly when it comes to forcing turnovers. Johnson has a team-high six interceptions, Robertson has four picks, King has three and Veasley has added two.
That match-up could be huge against a Fort Worth Christian team that does a bulk of its damage through the air.
Caron Cross has thrown for 2,284 yards and 18 touchdowns and also leads the team in rushing, although he has only gone for 373 yards on the year.
The Cardinals have a trio of primary receivers with Chance Luper (53-1,037, 11 TDs), Jamal Marshall (38-675, 3 TDs) and Jacob Trimble (19-267).
Fort Worth Christian is surrendering 30.7 points per game but that is a bit misleading as a bulk of that has come against top completion. The Cardinals have lost to Division I Parish Episcopal and Midland Christian, as well as San Antonio Cornerstone Christian and Frisco Legacy Christian.
Their last game was a hard-fought 27-23 setback to district champion Grapevine Faith Christian.
A year ago Fort Worth Christian built a 20-3 halftime lead and held Dallas Christian to less than 200 yards en route to the 27-10 win.