You could not have scripted a better start to Class 4A Division II playoffs for Aubrey. After bouncing Bridgeport in the opening round 55-3, the Chaps came right back last week and torched Sweetwater 42-7.
Unquestionably, the defense has been a huge bright spot for Aubrey early on as they’ve allowed just 10 total points through eight quarters to begin the postseason. They will need to keep that defensive attack against Monahans on Friday at Abilene Wylie High School in the Class 4A Division II Region II semifinals.
“Our staff has just gone above and beyond to prepare our defensive players each week,” Aubrey coach Keith Ivy said. “[Our players] have carried out the game plan by playing at an extremely high level with a lot of intensity. I take great pride in keeping people out of the end zone, and off the scoreboards.
“I think it’s just a mindset really, that they developed. They love playing the game, and playing with a lot of physicality, and have had fun while they’re out there.”
As for Monahans, they squeaked by Van Alstyne last week 35-28 by holding off the Panthers’ 21-point comeback attempt in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Cheno Navarrette passed for just 76 yards but rushed for a whopping 237 yards and a score for the Loboes.
Ivy and Aubrey know that to be successful on Friday, stopping Navarrette will be crucial.
“He’s a dual-threat quarterback that is dangerous running the ball as well as throwing the ball,” Ivy said. “One thing that makes him a little bit unique, I believe, is the fact that he’s just fine with getting outside of the pocket and still trying to make plays. Either with his feet or [arm], there’s a lot of plays on tape, we saw that he threw the ball eight or 10 seconds after the snap and bought himself more time. He’s good.”
The Chaps have their own weapon as well in their outstanding running back Braylon Colgrove. Colgrove, along with the entire stable of running backs that Aubrey will use, has helped shaped the power running game that encapsulates the team’s physical mentality.
“We try to have a real physical mindset or base our philosophy on physicality,” Ivy said. “A lot of people just want to try to play the defensive side and be physical. But we’re just as physical on the offensive side.
“I think that’s what separates us from a lot of other offenses is just our philosophy. And we take great pride in that, on the offensive side as well the offensive line and the backs that block for each other. They take care of each other and have a lot of fun doing that.”
Monahans allowed 28 points to each of its opponents thus far, while the Chaps have scored a combined 97 points through their first two playoff games for an average of 49 points per game. And while that breeds confidence in the Aubrey rushing attack, this is the playoffs, after all.
“I think we’ve got a great deal of confidence every week, to be sitting here,” Ivy said. “I think we carry a lot of that. So, we feel like we score on anybody, and we score a lot. Every week is unique, it’s different. It’s all about matchups. Unfortunately, a lot of times, you don’t know until you get out there how you do match up.”