Despite losing varsity mainstays and star players due to graduation, the Calhoun Sandcrabs are right back were they were a year ago, undefeated and the District 30-4A champions.
Calhoun (9-0) puts its perfect record on the line when it plays the Floresville Tigers (8-2) in the Class 4A, Division II bidistrict playoffs at Danaher Field in Corpus Christi.
The winner advances to the area round against either Corpus Christi Miller or Edcouch-Elsa.
Here are five things to watch during Friday's game.
During the previous two seasons, the Calhoun-Floresville game was a District 30-4A matchup.
The Tigers were reclassified into District 29-4A this season, but first year head coach Jeff Luna said the seeds of success for 2012 were planted in 2011.
"We beat Victoria West, we were in a tight ball game with Victoria East and a tight ball game with Gregory-Portland," Luna said. "I think that was big for our kids. They got a lot of momentum coming into this year."
The Sandcrabs beat the Tigers 33-7 in Port Lavaca two years ago then wrapped up a perfect regular season with a 48-21 win in Floresville last year.
Calhoun coach Richard Whitaker said he sees a more confident Floresville team this season after the Tigers went 6-1 in district and won a district co-championship.
"There's a lot of difference in a kid when he's playing with confidence and when he's not," Whitaker said.
The Tigers boast a talented collection of juniors in the backfield with Hector Villegas and Ruben Benavides.
Villegas, last years's District 30-4A Newcomer of the Year, has 1,156 yards and 14 touchdowns on 177 carries.
"He's a dynamic runner, someone that you have to take good angles on at and get your hands on because he can make you miss in the open field and he can get to the end zone very quick," Whitaker said. Benavides is the second 1,000-yard rusher, going for 1,005 yards on 150 carries. He has also rushed for nine TDs.
Friday's game may be over before fans at Danaher Field realize since the teams don't take to the air very often.
Floresville quarterback Colby Shodrock has only thrown for 511 yards and three touchdowns this season. He only has 90 attempts in 10 games.
Meanwhile, Calhoun quarterback Hunter Boerm is averaging only 15 yards per game and has only 14 passing attempts all season.
Luna said that Calhoun runs the triple option as well as any team he's seen and despite the low passing numbers, Boerm has added a new dimension to the offense.
"He's a big kid and when they need three or four yards, he's able to get those three or four yards," Luna said. "He's also got a pretty good arm, he's a pretty accurate passer. I know they don't throw a whole lot, but when they do, he's effective."
THERE's HISTORY HERE
Seven Sandcrabs have the best idea of what the Class 4A playoffs area all about.
Offensive tackle J.R Perez, linebacker Marcus Klamm, defensive tackles James Mendez and Albert Gonzalez, defensive backs Trey Robinson, Dustin Snow are the returning starters from last year's team that advanced to the regional round.
Conversely, no Tigers player has played in a playoff game for Floresville.
The last time Floresville made the playoffs was 2008, where it lost to Calhoun in the bi-district round.
Luna said he started preparing the Tigers in the last couple of weeks since they played San Antonio Kennedy and San Antonio Southside, two teams that needed wins to get into the playoffs.
"We told the kids going in we were going to treat those games as playoffs and we did," Luna said.
Healing during the bye week
Although a bye in Week 10 may not be ideal for some playoff teams, it came at the right time for Calhoun.
During Calhoun's regular season finale, a 61-42 win over East, Whitaker said the four or five players didn't finish the game because of minor injuries and the team came out of the game beat up.
"We're healthier than we've been for three weeks so I think it was a positive for us." Whitaker said.