Little Elm has flown under the radar thus far in 2017, quietly putting together an impressive campaign. The Lobos are second in District 14-5A with a 6-1 record, scoring 44.7 points per game while allowing only 17.
When comparing those stats to a team like the top-ranked area squad in Class 5A (Denton Ryan -- 45.6 points per game, 18.9 points allowed), it's hard to ignore how similar the numbers are. So with that in mind, why aren't we talking more about the Lobos, who check in at No. 20 in the area 5A rankings, as a legitimate contender in 5A?
Little Elm head coach Kendrick Brown can't seem to figure it out either.
"I thought earlier in the year with what we had coming back, and with the year we had in 2016 making the playoffs, we really weren't rated accordingly," Brown said. " But now it's midseason and we're finally starting to get a little bit of recognition."
After a 3-0 start, Little Elm's only slip-up of the year came in Week 4 to Division 14-5A leader Prosper. In the 35-7 loss, the defending district champions caused all sorts of chaos defensively, forcing the Lobos into four turnovers. Offensively, the Lobos were outgained 412 to 184.
"Any time you give the ball away four times in a game of that magnitude, it won't be good for you," Brown said. "They did a great job defensively and we just didn't have a good night."
Since that loss, however, Little Elm has bounced back in a big way, winning three games in a row against The Colony, Newman Smith and Creekview -- and it hasn't turned the ball over since.
"Offensively, our quarterback, Logan Kohler, has had a really good year," Brown said. "We knew going into the season we had two really good running backs -- each of them rushed for 1,000 yards last year. Kevin Terry has caught eight touchdowns for us this year, and our entire receiving corps as a whole has been solid."
Kohler has completed 62.4 percent of his passes for 1,189 yards and 15 scores this season, but he isn't the only threat featured in Little Elm's offense. Running backs Corey Moses and Glenn Young have picked up a combined 998 yards on the ground, with 10 touchdowns apiece.
And defensively, Brown believes cornerback Brandon Crossley has had one of the best seasons of any player on that side of the ball in 5A. The junior has tallied four interceptions (returning one for a touchdown), and a punt return for a touchdown.
Little Elm has shown that it has enough playmakers on both sides of the ball, and the resolve, to be a very dangerous team come playoff time. And when the postseason finally does arrive, 5A teams will not want to see the Lobos on their side of the bracket.