Brennan head football coach Steve Basore has been this way once before, albeit in a different classification and in a different role.
He was defensive coordinator at Brandeis in 2009, when the Broncos advanced to the Class 5A Division II state quarterfinals in only their second season in school history.
Basore left Brandeis in 2010 when Brennan opened, and his third season with the Bears is turning out to be as memorable as his last one was with the Broncos
"It's been really exciting," Basore said Thursday. "Obviously, what we've done this season is very similar to what Brandeis did in 2009, although they did it a little quicker. It's been crazy."
Brennan (13-0) continues its historic season against Cedar Park (11-2) in the 4A Division II state quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Alamodome. Cedar Park lost to eventual state champion Lake Travis in this round each of the past two seasons.
"We knew Cedar Park would be an opponent down the road," Basore said. "They're a solid ballclub. We're in the same same place they are now. I think our kids are ready to take on that challenge."
Three other state quarterfinal games are scheduled Saturday at the Alamodome.
Madison (11-2) takes on O'Connor (11-2) in a 5A Division I matchup at noon, and Steele (13-0) faces Brandeis (12-1) in the 5A Division II playoffs at 4 p.m.
Saturday's tripleheader concludes with Manor (10-3) facing Fort Bend Marshall (13-0) at 8 p.m. in another 4A Division II quarterfinal.
Brandeis in quarterfinals for second time
The Northside Independent School District has the distinction of having three teams -- Brandeis, Brennan and O'Connor -- playing in what is the fourth round of the state playoffs.
Brandeis enters the quarterfinals with the same record it had after 13 games in 2009. The Broncos lost to New Braunfels, finishing 12-2.
Brennan rolled to a 42-0 victory over Edcouch-Elsa in the third round last Friday night, outgaining the Yellow Jackets 307-70 in total offensive yardage. The Bears jumped out to a 14-0 lead on fumble returns by defensive end Lorenzo Fonseca and linebacker Michael Huron.
What's made the Bears' run even more impressive is that they are just two years removed from an 0-10 finish in their inaugural season.
"When you go through something like that, you have to know who you are and who you believe in," Basore said. "You have to stay the course. It's never fun to go 0-10, but at the same time, you learn a lot about your kids. We took a big step last year and and even bigger one this season."
Brennan was second in District 28-4A last year and lost in the first round of the playoffs, finishing 7-4.
The Bears beat Boerne Champion (42-24) and Cedar Park Vista Ridge (31-28) in the first two rounds of the playoffs this season.
"The playoffs are adventurous and mysterious," Basore said. "That's what makes the process so unique. From week to the next week, you may have an idea of who you might play. But there are always surprises. When you get in the playoffs, anything can happen."
Steele has knocked off Brandeis two years in a row
Madison beat Harlingen 42-27 in last year's quarterfinals and lost to Fort Bend Hightower the following week. O'Connor is in the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year, but is 0-10 against Madison. The Panthers have been in the state quarterfinals once before (2003).
"This is a different team," O'Connor coach David Malesky said. "We think we have what it takes to get the job done. We've had a special team this season. There's a belief on this team that they can beat anybody. They're looking forward to playing Madison."
Madison downed previously unbeaten Mission Sharyland (40-13) in the third round, and O'Connor defeated Laredo Alexander (44-24).
"The first thing that jumps out at you about Madison is that they're extremely athletic and have a lot of team speed," Malesky said. "Historically, they don't try to fool you on offense and defense. They just will line up and play. They have some really big kids on both sides of the ball that can run."
Steele has eliminated Brandeis in the second round of the playoffs each of the past two seasons. The Knights beat the Broncos 35-17 en route to the 5A Division II state title in 2010 and 28-6 last year, when the Knights went 15-0 before falling in the 5A Division II state final.
Brandeis advanced to the quarterfinals by routing Del Rio 63-7.
Steele, which has won 41 of its last 42 games, beat Edinburg North 38-0 in the third round. The Knights are trying to become the first team from the San Antonio area to advance to the state final three years in a row.