Hico opened the season ranked No. 5 in Class 2A.
But early-season losses, and a string of key injuries, left the Tigers with an anemic 1-4 record, albeit against tough competition, when district play began.
Since then Hico has rolled off six straight wins, including a 33-6 hammering of Wolfe City last week in the postseason’s area round and are looking more like the team preseason voters selected in the state’s top 10.
One of those early-season losses was at the hands of this week’s playoff foe, the Crawford Pirates. The Tigers look to avenge a 34-13 non-district loss in early September.
Both sides of the ball have been hitting on all cylinders for the Tigers.
The offense has accumulated 191 points during the winning streak, while the defense has allowed just 25 total ponts and posted four shutouts, three consecutively.
The Tigers’ offense, led by Dakota Mullins’ 136-yard, 2-touchdown performance, rushed for 272 yards against Wolfe City a week past.
The HHS defense limited the Wolves to just 92 yards and six points. In that game, defensive tackle Johnny serrate harassed Wolfe City ball carriers, making five tackles for losses, while being double-teamed for the majority of the game.
Crawford, ranked, No. 8 in Texas Football voting, carries an 11-1 mark into Friday’s battle. The Pirates manhandled Alvord a week ago, 57-7 to advance in the postseason.
The Pirates lone loss came to to-ranked Mart, 74-49, in an Oct. 24 meeting.