Pilot Point’s five-year wait for a playoff victory is over.
After knocking off Tuscola Jim Ned in the bi-district round last week, the Bearcats secured their first postseason win since 2014. But Pilot Point (10-1) has no intention of resting on its laurels.
Instead, the Bearcats remain focused on their next task at hand — a meeting with Slaton (6-5) in the Class 3A Division I Region I area round. The two teams will collide at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Vernon High School’s Lion Stadium.
“The [kids] were extremely excited,” Pilot Point coach Danny David said of his team’s bi-district win. “Hopefully they carry that excitement over and enjoy the time, the feeling and the memories they’re making right now. Hopefully they want to continue this journey.”
The Bearcats are winners of their last seven games and have not lost since Sept. 20 — a 35-0 defeat at the hands of Gunter, which remains Pilot Point’s only loss this season.
Through 11 games, the Bearcats are averaging 420.4 yards and 38.5 points per game. Pilot Point’s offense is powered by dual-threat quarterback Jacob Pitts, who has combined to account for 2,177 yards and 25 touchdowns.
But the Bearcats’ biggest asset may be their stingy defense.
Opponents have averaged just 12.8 points per game against Pilot Point this year. And David knows the Bearcats will have to rely on their defense yet again to slow down the Tigers.
“Slaton is extremely fast,” David said. “They have good size and a tremendous amount of speed. We’re going to have to get there, break down and grab ahold of something, and hope our buddies get there. If we miss them, they can take it the distance anytime.
“We’ve got to tackle. If we don’t come out and tackle, it could be a long night. They won’t get one or two yards after a broken tackle, they’ll get 10 or 20, or possibly a touchdown.”
Although Slaton is just 6-5 overall, David said the Tigers’ record is not an accurate reflection of how dangerous they are.
Four of Slaton’s five losses are against teams still in the playoffs. Two of the Tigers’ losses are against teams that are undefeated.
“You really can’t tell [how good they are] by their record,” David said. “It’s like I told the boys, everybody is 1-0. They’re doing something right to still be playing this time of year.”
The winner of Friday’s game advances to the 3A Division I Region I quarterfinal and will play the winner of Wall and Shallowater next week.