After a brief absence, Aragon makes its return to the Central Coast Section Division II football playoffs and will host Sobrato on Saturday night.
"We’re extremely excited," Aragon coach Steve Sell said. "There’s a little less pressure. It’s bonus football."
This follows an injury-plagued 2010 season where the Dons finished last in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division, dropping them into the Ocean.
This year, the fourth-seeded Dons (8-2) finished tied for second in the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division with South City.
"They’re certainly focused and they’re ready to play," Sell said.
Sobrato (7-3) did not lose a league game and won the Blossom Valley Athletic League Santa Teresa Division.
Two of Sobrato’s losses were by forfeit due to an ineligible player, Sell said.
"They execute extremely well," Sell said. "They spread out, use lots of deception."
Bulldogs senior quarterback Jerry Jacobs Jr. will be looking to help spread the Aragon defense out along with running back Obi Mbonu.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs have been tough defensively since the beginning of league play as they have allowed more than 20 points only once.
The Dons are coming off a 59-38 win over crosstown rival Hillsdale, a game in which Davarian Redd ran for 168 yards and three touchdowns, and Sell said it was much needed.
"It would have been very difficult [this week] if we had lost to Hillsdale," Sell said. "It would have been very demoralizing."
Sell said his team ran the ball well and thought his team would need to score 42 points to win.
"We were bigger than Hillsdale and we overwhelmed them," he said.
The win came a week after a one-point loss to Ocean champion Half Moon Bay.
"One of the great things about this team is how our kids responded to those losses," he said. "That was our most important game of the year.
Our kids really wanted to hold serve."
But despite the win, Sell said his team did not play well defensively.
"We gave up too many points, too many yards," Sell said. "But we made them work for their touchdowns."
Aragon has lost its two games by a combined five points. If Aragon wins, it will play the winner of top-seeded Los Gatos (8-1-1) and Leigh (6-4) on Thanksgiving weekend.
"If we end up playing Los Gatos, that will mean we beat Sobrato," Sell said. "In my estimation, if we’re practicing on Thanksgiving Day, we’ve had a great season."
It would also mark the second time in three seasons that Aragon will have reached the section semifinals.
The Dons met Los Gatos in the semifinals in 2009 and were steamrolled 45-6.