In the 1980s, Pilot Point was a small school powerhouse. That period of time included a 42-game winning streak and two state championships for the Bearcats.
Friday night football ran through the blood of Pilot Point fans and players. Although some have moved off, a familiar face returned to the community in 2017 to try and bring the Bearcats’ football program back to its once-elite level.
Coach Danny David, who played for Pilot Point during those two state championships, has compiled a 21-12 record since he became the leader of the Bearcats’ football program.
On Friday at 6 p.m., Pilot Point will play in the biggest game of the David era when they face off with No. 1 Wall at Graham High School’s Newton Field in the Class 3A Division I Region I semifinal.
Wall (12-0) is a 3A juggernaut who many assume will be playing December football every year. As such, the road to a region final appearance goes through Wall, as the Hawks have advanced to the third round for eight consecutive seasons and 10 of the last 11.
“They’re an extremely good football team and coached very well,” David said. “When you play this deep in the playoffs, you expect to play elite teams like Wall.”
The Hawks run an old-school offense that is based on the triple option. This style of offense isn’t seen much in today’s game.
David said the Hawks will be one of the toughest teams Pilot Point has defended all year because of the misdirection and motion taking place in the backfield.
“If you don’t play disciplined on every play, you’re not going to beat this team,” David said. “We have to play our gaps, and our defensive line has got to stay low or else they’ll blow us off the football.
“They’ll bore you to death with the run, and as soon as you fall asleep, they’re going to fake it and hit you with a deep pass that results in a big play.”
Although Wall will be one of Pilot Point’s toughest challenges to date, the Bearcats are battle tested.
Pilot Point (11-1) defeated a solid Brock squad en route to a District 4-3A Division I championship, a district that many have called one of the toughest in 3A. The Bearcats’ only loss of the year came to 3A Division II No. 4 Gunter.
David said that winning a district championship in one of the toughest leagues in the state instilled confidence in the Bearcats.
Instead of hoping to win, his team now expects to win.
“The excitement around town is unbelievable, and our kids are feeding off that,” David said. “Everybody that’s part of the town closes down when Friday night football comes. There will be a lot of energy come Friday night, and we’ll be ready to go when that ball gets kicked off.”