91 wins to 12 losses. That is the combined record of the eight teams remaining in the Texas 3A D1 state quarterfinals. Every team has double-digit wins with none of them having more than three losses. When it’s playoff time the cream rises to the top and that couldn’t be more prevalent when looking at Texas 3A football.
All eight teams could conceivably win it all. One team, however, is coming into the state quarterfinals with a 12-1 record. The last time they had at least 12 wins, they won it all in 2009. This same team also comes into the state quarterfinals with the highest playoff point differential of any of the teams remaining as well as letting up less than seven points a game on average in the playoffs.
The Pilot Point Bearcats.
“The key to our success this year is basically believing in one another and doing our job other than trying to do too much,” quarterback and defensive back Jacob Pitts said.
“Honestly I think it’s just experience,” running back, wide receiver and linebacker Jay Cox said. “Last year we were a young team, mostly sophomores, and juniors that played, now that we have a little more insight on the game we can use our talent.”
Pilot Point is a small town of around 4,000 people in northern Texas on the way to Oklahoma. The football program boasts three state championships, two in 1980 and 1981 and the other being in 2009 where they went undefeated.
“This year our team has just come with it, we are all close and I think that is a factor in the way we play,” Cox said.
The 2019 Bearcats have easily been the best team Pilot Point has put on the football field since the 2009 state champion squad and the players are more motivated than ever to bring home the school’s fourth football state championship.
“If everything goes as planned people will see Pilot Point in state, our team just gets better every week,” Cox said.
The Bearcats are putting up upwards of 38 points a game whilst only giving up around 11.
The Bearcats don’t limit players to just one position as some play on both sides of the ball. Jacob Pitts embodies that as the Bearcats quarterback and defensive back.
Pitts on the season has over 2,000 passing yards with 22 touchdowns along with 689 rushing yards and nine more touchdowns. Pitts also has a team-leading three interceptions on the Bearcats, he literally can do it all.
“We all are very close, and we all really want this,” Pitts said.
Another standout on the Bearcats is junior Jay Cox. Cox is a running back with 291 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also a wide receiver with 139 yards and a touchdown. Oh yeah, he’s also the teams’ linebacker with 125 tackles, three sacks, and three interceptions.
“Experience and film are key, just getting better every week learning from past mistakes is how I see it,” Cox said.
Pilot Point hasn’t really been in a close game these playoffs winning by 14,51 and 19 respectively. They’re last one possession game? September 27th, a 20-14 win over Brock.
Their upcoming opponent in the state quarterfinals, Brock.
Outside of Pilot Points one loss Brock has played this Bearcats squad tougher than anyone. They will come in looking for revenge in the form of ending the Bearcats season at Bedford’s Pennington Field.
One thing is for sure, Friday night will see one of the more entertaining games all season when these two match up again with the chance of going to the state semifinals.
Expect a low scoring contest again as even though both squads are capable of scoring points with each averaging upwards of 30 this season. Both Brock and Pilot Point rely on their defense as out of the eight remaining teams they allow the least and second least amount of points scored respectively.
It’s a battle of who has the best defense in 3A D1, and everyone knows the famous phrase ‘defense wins championships.’