DENISON, Texas (KTEN) -  The Denison Yellow Jackets haven't made it passed the first round of the playoffs since 2009 when the team made it to the state semifinals that year, but head coach Brent Whitson believes this group has the capability to finally get over their first round slump.

"We always come in in August with the thought of ruining our grandmother's Thanksgiving," said Denison head coach Brent Whitson. "To go play three rounds deep at least because at that point now it's about injuries, about luck, about eligibility, about you draw. Getting to three rounds is based on your performance, and we feel like we've got that kind of team, so we want to fulfill that goal."

The Yellow Jackets are 3-1 as they get ready to take on Lovejoy at home for week two of district play. Last year Denison fell 49-7.

"Last year, quite honestly, we had a decent early start, got a touchdown called back by a penalty, and it totally I guess for lack of better terms blew our minds. We just didn't handle the adversity very well," said Whitson.

"This bunch handles adversity pretty well, and responds rather than reacts, so I think even with the same starters we had last year I think this bunch would show up much better following that."

"I think we're just two totally different football teams. Really highly regarded and high expectations out of last year's bunch, and this year people don't know what to think about us. They're starting to figure it out that they better not sleep on us," Whitson continued.

Like Coach Whitson said, this year people don't know what to expect from this team, but the players have really grown since the start of the season.

"That first game I was a little nervous. Of course it was Sherman, so there's going to be nerves at that, but going off week four I can handle the pressure more and just gotten more comfortable in the backfield," said senior quarterback Kurtenbach.

"I'm not the biggest guy, so it takes a lot of hard work and just being able to know my role on the team. Coach Morrison has been helping me out just knowing the defense and being able to read and doing the things that I can do not what a 6'7" guy can do just go make plays and just knowing my job," said senior wide receiver Ty Kirkbride.

KTEN will have pre-game coverage, highlights and postgame analysis from Munson Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.