CEDAR PARK - Cedar Park completed a perfect district record in Week 11, but the Timberwolves hope a perfect ending to the 2019 happens in about 42 days from Friday in Arlington.
The 2012 and 2015 state champions in their classification and the No. 6-ranked Class 5A Division I team entering the week, the Timberwolves beat Manor, also headed to the postseason, 49-24 on Friday at Gupton Stadium to finish the regular season.
The focus is now on McCallum, who the Timberwolves (9-1, 6-0 District 11-5A, Division I) play at 7 p.m. Nov. 15 in Gupton Stadium during the bi-district round of the playoffs.
District champions are awarded the home field in the bi-district round.
"We’ve got to continue to grow and getting better, stay healthy," said Cedar Park coach Carl Abseck, who admitted he hadn’t spent any time preparing for McCallum yet. "Every week is going to be a huge challenge. Our region is loaded. You’re going to have to be ready to play really well for four weeks to get out of our region."
Cedar Park has been ready to go the last two weeks. The Timberwolves have outscored opponents 77-10 in their last two first halves.
"We’ve been executing really well," Abseck said. "It starts with the triggerman and he’s got lots of players around him making plays for him. The offensive line has been good job protecting and we’ve got three or four running backs who are all exciting well. As long as you keep doing that, you’ve got a chance."
Cedar Park scored touchdowns on its first six possessions Friday, with junior quarterback Ryder Hernandez throwing for four touchdowns and running for another as Cedar Park scored 42 points in the first half. Hernandez found receiver Josh Cameron for two touchdown scores of 22 and 30 yards.
The last time Cedar Park won a state championship in 2015, it was sophomore quarterback Mak Sexton, who went 28-1 in before during his sophomore and junior seasons, leading the way.
Abseck said Hernandez, a junior, falls right in line with past Cedar Park quarterbacks.
"He’s a competitor, for one, and he’s gifted athletically," Abseck said. "He throws the ball well, he can run the ball well. He’s a true, real dual threat quarterback … he allows us to do a lot of different things on offense."
Manor standout running back Tajh Brooks gained 67 yards in the first half, and kept piling on in the second, scoring two more touchdowns, including an 80-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Brooks, headed to Texas Tech next season, finishes the regular season with 1,140 rushing yards with 16 touchdowns and piled up 177 yards and three touchdowns against Cedar Park.
"He’s special," Manor coach Jimmie Mitchell said. "He’s a wonderful kid first. He’s been with me my four years here, as a freshman he started, he’s just one of the best kids I’ve ever coached in 30 yards.
"We’ve got to play better. (Brooks) deserves for us to play better."
Manor will travel to Dripping Springs, who the Mustangs beat 43-40 in the same round in 2018, on Nov. 15 for a 7:30 p.m. the bi-district round game.
The Mustangs faced a difficult schedule in the second half of district play, finishing the season with the three other playoff qualifiers of District 11-5A, Division I.
"It’s definitely going to help," Mitchell said, noting that he thought his team could have played better against the three other playoff teams. "I still really think we’ve got a talented kids, we’ve just got to get our mind right and get refocused.
"A new season starts."