LOVELADY, TX (KTRE) - The Lovelady Lions have managed to pull off an undefeated year entering the bi-district round with an impressive 10-0 record, making it only the second time it's ever been done in school history.
Now that it's the win or go home season, Lovelady has no plans losing now.
A lot of teams can say they're good enough to make the postseason, but it's rare to say you're coming in with a notable 10-0 performance.
"Nobody expects to go 10-0 in the regular season and have a perfect record in the regular season, but I'm not going to say that I'm surprised either," said senior running back Emanual Williams. "I knew the talent we had when we came out here during two-a-days this year and I expected us to have a good season."
The last time Lovelady was able to pull off a 10-0 stunt was back in 2009.
In the 13 years Kerry Therwhanger has been at the helm of the Lions, he's played a heavy hand in those perfect seasons and noted this year's veteran group of players was different.
"We have good team chemistry, great senior leadership and you got to have some talent to be able to pull that off. We got a good mixture of size and speed," said Therwhanger.
The Lions have been nothing short of dominant this year. Averaging a staggering 50 points a game, Lovelady has held teams to a feeble 12-point average.
The pulse of the Lions offense beats off tailback Williams who has rushed for over 1,500 yards and 34 touchdowns this season. Entering the postseason Williams is averaging over three touchdowns a game.
"Williams has good vision, great speed and he's got a lot of experience. He's been in the backfield now for three years as a starter," said Therwhanger.
"Our offensive line, they give me everything they got every time we step on that field," said Williams. "I can't say that I would have these yards or touchdowns without them."
Then defensively, it's all about swarming the football.
"Typically you look up and off the pile we're getting five, six, seven guys up off the pile," said Therwhanger.
While numbers don't lie, the game itself may tell a different story if the Lions schedule has tested them to be playoff ready.
"There's nothing easy about it," said senior linebacker Brandan Pollock. "There's nobody that's just going to roll over and not fight you for the win because you wouldn't be playing if you didn't want to win."
"Scoreboards and numbers, they may say a different story but every play, for every inch, for every yard, there's a challenge out there on the football field," said Williams. "Right now we just need to keep overcoming challenge after challenge and see how far we can get."
Lovelady will be taking on Cayuga who finished district 2-3. The two will tangle at Crockett High School on Thursday night starting at 7.
For a complete list of all the East Texas High School Football schedules, click here.