It is really hard to go undefeated in a regular season.
That means for 10-straight games you might not have been perfect but did enough to keep out of the loss column. As one coach said every team expects a lull to hit, it just depends on when it happens.
But entering Week 11 there were nine Houston-area teams that could complete the regular season undefeated and those finished the mission.
NEW CANEY – Brady Pennington is the first to admit it is hard to win 10 games in a season - having accomplished it four times in his career as a head coach.
Especially, 10-straight to start the year.
Over the past few seasons at New Caney, Pennington and staff have been able to check off some of the "never been done" boxes for the Eagles' football program. The list has included getting a playoff win (31-28 victory over Beaumont Central in 2016) and winning 10 games (2018) in a single season.
With a 37-0 victory over rival Porter on Friday, which clinched the program's fourth-straight district championship – another thing the team has never done – the Eagles accomplished another historic feat – the first-ever undefeated regular season in the 65th year of the program.
"Going into the season, I really felt like we might have the most athletic team maybe in the history of New Caney," Pennington said. "I say that because we have three or four kids that are really special but then we just have a whole bunch of rope holders. We really felt like we had a chance if the kids put the work in to have a good football team.
"I don't go into a season dreaming of a 10-0 season. I didn't say a word to our kids until about Week 7."
The celebration is on here at Randall Reed Stadium as the Battle Line on 59 trophy is headin back to @NCEagleFootball for a 10th straight year. #txhsfb @ZChildress9 @abc13sports @yaahboidj @CaleSanders11 @newcaneyisd pic.twitter.com/R8cuIxz6Z3
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) November 9, 2019
New Caney, which entered the season as a favorite to repeat as district champions, headed into Friday's meeting with Porter considering it as its toughest test to date.
Early on, both defenses bent but didn't break as Porter's Zhyon Bell and New Caney's Derrick Harris Jr., a Texas-commit, seemed to make every tackle.
With 10 minutes left in the second quarter, New Caney finally found a crease in the defense.
Zion Childress slung the ball to the far sideline, finding Isaiah Akin, who utilized down-field blocking to run his way into the end zone from seven yards out, making it 7-0, which would be the halftime score.
In the second half, it was the Phillip McDaniel Jr. show.
The senior opened the third quarter breaking off an 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown before capping the frame with a 61-yard touchdown reception and starting the fourth quarter with a 29-yard score.
The 21-point swing was too much for Porter to overcome as the Spartans' offense could never get anything going as New Caney rolled to the 37-0 victory and clinch the 10-0 season.
"It's a great feeling," McDaniel said. "Never happened before. It's good, we deserved it, we've been practicing hard every day."
Childress finished 12 of 23 for 200 yards and three scores, while rushing for another 146 yards on 16 carries, including a 55-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter.
"Just keep adding on to the stones that Coach [Pennington] is laying down," Childress said about the undefeated regular season. "Everyday we go to work. Coach has put out a foundation for us and just keep getting better that's what we're doing as a team. Coach Pennington wanted us playing our best ball at the end of the season and that's what we're doing."
Next up for New Caney is a playoff date with Foster. The game is slated for Friday, November 15 at Randall Reed Stadium with kickoff set for 7 p.m.