All the August wins in the world won't help Aledo tonight.
The Bearcats beat the Yellow Jackets 20-16 on Aug. 28. All it meant in the grand scheme of each team's season was an 0-1 mark for The 'Ville and a 1-0 start for Aledo.
Championships, you see, such as the area title up for grabs at Jerry World tonight, aren't won in August.
Since that time, Stephenville has faced the likes of Everman and Mansfield Legacy - and won handily every time.
The Jackets have pitched a pair of shutouts, improved offensively every week, and become a team not even Aledo wants to see again.
Aledo has also won impressively, but against who? Birdville? Can you say Overrated? The Hawks have already been grounded for the year, falling to Lake Dallas in round one. Saginaw Boswell? Pretenders.
Aledo will be tested for the first time tonight since losing to Weatherford in overtime on Sept. 11. And it will be a big test, with both teams desperately fighting to keep their championship aspirations alive.
Aledo has a magnificent runner in Johnathan Grey. There is a good possibility he is the best back in Texas.
The Bearcats also have an efficient quarterback in Matthew Bishop, who may very well go on to become a prolific passer in time.
It's too bad the last game of Grey and Bishop's sophomore seasons has to come so soon. Bad for Aledo, but good for Stephenville.
See, for all Grey's shifty moves, and all the cute plays like the one where Bishop rolls out and acts as if he's going to run (he's no running threat) before "optioning" to throw the ball in the flat, that's not how you win in the playoffs.
You win with hard-nosed, physical football.
It's why the Dallas Cowboys', whose home Aledo and Stephenville are borrowing for their big showdown, haven't won a playoff game since losing Emmitt Smith and Daryl Johnston from the backfield - they haven't been physical enough.
It's why Longview seems to make a deep playoff run every year out in east Texas, why Euless Trinity is always good in the Metroplex and why Katy is a state title contender seemingly every year. They line up and punch you in the mouth.
Even the Art Briles-coached teams that seemed to invent the widespread use of the spread offense had the ability to put a physical beating on opponents - hence four state championships won by Stephenville in the 1990s.
As good as Aledo is - and the Cats are plenty good - I'll take the more physical team - that's Stephenville - to win in November, in playoff football.
So go ahead and bring on the sacrificial lamb from west Texas. I mean, seriously, is anyone from Stephenville - or Aledo for that matter - really scared of El Paso Parkland or Hereford?
I'm not saying tonight's game is going to be easy.
But I am saying it will be Stephenville celebrating under the world's biggest TV screen on the world's most expensive patch of carpet when all is said and done on a night of good, PHYSICAL football in Arlington.