Aledo (15-0) vs. Smithson Valley (14-1), 7 p.m. Friday at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium
It’s a battle of two pedigree programs to close out the day on Friday night. Aledo’s got the pedigree with an incredible resume of 1 state titles, while Smithson Valley has had tremendous success under head coach Larry Hill but are still seeking that elusive first state title.
Despite playing without star RB Raycine Guillory, Aledo made quick work of an outstanding Forney squad, 43-7. Hawk Patrick-Daniels was plenty good enough stepping in at RB as he ran for 203 yards and two scores, while TCU QB commit Hauss Hejny tallied 207 yards of offense.
LSU RB/LB commit Davhon Keys added in four short touchdown runs for the Bearcats, who forced four turnovers on the night.
Smithson Valley ended The Valley’s hopes of a miracle state run in emphatic fashion as the Rangers rolled to a 49-21 win over Brownsville Veterans Memorial. SVHS raced out to a 49-0 lead in the third quarter before emptying the bench down the stretch.
WR Cole Freund had a pair of touchdowns, while RB Daniel DeHoyos added two touchdowns. But the news was mixed out of Corpus Christi as RB Brad Sowersby went down with an injury and is likely out this week.
Texas WR commit Freddie DuBose is a dynamic playmaker on the outside and will need to have a big game to keep Smithson Valley in this one. This is maybe the most dynamic Aledo team I’ve ever seen. The skill talent the Bearcats bring to the table is just over-whelming. Smithson Valley is just solid and reminds me a lot about the Aledo teams from the early 2000s, but Aledo has the big game experience and the title pedigree.
Stepp’s Pick: Aledo by 16
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Hauss Hejny - The TCU commit is one of the 10 finalists for Mr. Texas Football, and for good reason. He displays pin-point accuracy, can make every throw you'd want to see at the NFL Combine and might - just might - be best outside of the pocket utilizing his legs. Hejny was nearly perfect in Aledo's state championship a season ago.
RB/LB Davhon Keys - When Keys isn't finding the endzone as a short yardage back, he's making game-changing plays on defense and special teams. Keys is a back-to-back all-state LB who is committed to LSU.
OL Devron Williams - The leader of a stout Bearcats offensive front, Williams is a mauler on the edge protecting Hejny's blindside. He's committed to Louisiana. A name to know along side him: 2026 OL Payton Williams.
WR Freddie Dubose Jr. - It's great to see Dubose back on the field doing what he does after suffering a season-ending ACL injury early during the 2022 season. The Longhorns commit might be called upon more than usual if Aledo gets out to a big lead. He's a big-play nightmare who will not be caught if he gets in the open field.
S Diego Davila - When Aledo does put the ball in the air, the Bearcats will need to account for the whereabouts of No. 43. Davila, a 5-11, 185-pound 2025 prospect, has a nose for the ball and can take an interception to the house with the quickness. Davila is also a dangerous punt returner; he had a 50-yard return in the state semifinal against Brownsville Veterans Memorial that helped put the game on ice at the end of the first quarter.
QB Ryland Walker - Walker is going to have to play mistake-free football against a quick and physical Aledo defense if the Rangers are to knock off the defending state champs. He's more than capable. But how will he handle the bright lights of AT&T Stadium?
LB/DE Jaxson Maynard - Smithson Valley's best hope at slowing down the vaunted Aledo attack will be, in large part, to Maynard's ability to disrupt the line of scrimmage. He's more than capable at 6-3, 220 with 4.55 speed.
Aledo QB Hauss Hejny vs. Smithson Valley’s Ballhawking Defense - Smithson Valley’s defense has scored ten defensive touchdowns this season. Eight of them have come on interceptions. The only issue for them is Aledo QB Hauss Hejny has thrown 22 touchdowns to just five interceptions on the year. Hejny did throw two interceptions in the semifinal win over Forney, however. Wide receiver Trace Clarkson is the TCU quarterback commit’s favorite target, which means Smithson Valley defensive backs Jackson Duffey and Zach Gingrich will need to lock him down and bait Hejny into poor decisions.
Smithson Valley WR Freddie Dubose vs. Aledo DB Jaden Allen - Texas commit Freddie Dubose is a track star at wide receiver for Smithson Valley. The 6-foot-1-inch, 170-pounder is electric when he gets the ball in his hands after the catch. Aledo figures to match up Arkansas defensive back commit Jaden Allen on the speedy Dubose. Allen doesn’t get tested often. Smithson Valley will have no option but to try.
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