Colleyville Heritage quarterback Cam Roane played a brilliant game, throwing four touchdown passes and running for another in the season opener against the state-ranked No. 1 Aledo Bearcats on Friday night.
The senior signal caller brought his team back four times to take a lead and played almost a flawless game as the large crowd at Mustang-Panther Stadium in Grapevine could see why he has committed to pass-happy San Diego State University.
But it was his lone mistake – or rather, a big play by the Aledo defense – that sent the Bearcats home the winners.
With Roane driving the Panthers down the field for what look certain to be the game-winning drive, Aledo senior safety Logan Childs stunned the crowd and elated Bearcat Nation when he intercepted Roane at the Bearcats 10-yard line to secure the win for the top-ranked Bearcats.
“He (Roane) was looking right at the receiver,” Childs said. “I was behind the receiver, and when he threw the ball I broke in front of him and intercepted the pass. This is a great way to start the season.”
The Bearcats had just taken a 41-36 lead when Aledo senior quarterback Dillon Davis threw a pass on a bubble screen to the right side to Jeffrey Carter, who sprinted down the right side and broke a tackle on his way across the goal line with 1:24 left to play.
The ‘Cats went for two points but the pass failed, leaving Roane and the Panthers one last chance to come back and take the win. Heritage caught a break on the ensuing kickoff when a Bearcat was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the hosts the ball in great field position at the Aledo 49.
Roane quickly went to work and found receiver Connor Cole for a 13-yard gain, and two plays later, he connected with running back Kam Brown for a pickup of 21 yards to the Bearcats’ 19-yard line.
Following an incomplete pass, Roane threw his only interception as Childs set off a celebration on the Aledo sideline and in the visitors’ stands.
“We made a lot of mistakes and had too many penalties,” Bearcats head coach Steve Wood said. “But I am proud of the guys for fighting and never giving
up. That is a good football team (Heritage) over there, and I am proud of my guys for hanging in there.”
It was a seesaw battle that saw an incredible eight lead changes.
On the opening drive of the game, Davis led Aledo on a seven-play, 79-yard drive that ended on a 14-yard pass from Davis to Carter, who leaped high in the air at goal line and pulled the ball in over two defenders with 9:50 left in the opening quarter.
Quinn Davis booted the extra point to give the Bearcats a quick 7-0 lead.
Not to be outdone, Roane brought the Panthers the length of the field on four passes, completing the drive with a seven-yard scoring strike to top receiver Ke’Von Ahmad with 6:49 left in the first quarter.
T.J. Watson kicked the extra point to tie the contest, 7-7.
On the Bearcats next possession, Davis converted a third and four into a first down after a 15-yard completion to junior Hunter Rosson, the Bearcats’ leading receiver last season.
Davis was called upon to convert another third down – this time on third and seven from the Heritage 49 – and he connected with receiver Preston Jefferis
for a 21-yard gain and a first down to the HHS 28. Jefferis would play a large role in the outcome of the game later in the contest.
Davis followed with a 13-yard gain on a keeper, and senior running back Michael Jordan returned the lead to the Bearcats when he dragged four defenders across the goal line to complete a 15-yard touchdown run with 3:36 left to play in the first period.
Davis added the PAT as Aledo led 14-7.
Roane came back and drove the ball – courtesy of three pass completions – to the AHS 8 before the drive stalled and the Panthers settled for a 25-yard
chip shot from Watson to cut the Bearcats’ lead to 14-10 with 28 seconds left in a wild first quarter.
Heritage, which this year dropped down to Class 5A from 6A, came back on a Roane-led 11-play 70-yard drive that was helped by a pass interference call on Aledo and ended on a 17-yard pass across the middle to running back Mario Ortiz.
Watson added the PAT as Heritage led 17-14 with 6:11 left in the half.
Jordan accounted for 34 yards on two carries on Aledo’s next possession, a 10-play drive that carried 63 yards. Jordan had runs of 19 and 25 yards, respectively, to keep the chains moving, but freshman running back Jase McClellan gained six tough yards on two carries to bring the ball to the HHS 2.
On third and goal from the two, Davis faked a handoff and lofted a pass deep into the end zone for defensive tackle Wes Harris, who had lined up as a tight end on the play. Harris cradled the aerial like a seasoned receiver for a touchdown with 3:14 left in the half.
Davis’ boot gave the Bearcats a 21-17 lead, where it remained at the half.
On the first play of the second half, Ortiz sprinted past the Aledo defense for a stunning 67-yard gain that brought the ball to the Aledo 4. On the next play, Roane called his own number and kept up the middle for four yards and a touchdown.
However, the Panthers bobbled the snap on the PAT as Heritage led 23-21.
Davis followed and engineered a 13-play drive that culminated in a one-yard blast across the goal line by McClellan.
On the 64-yard drive the Bearcats converted two third downs – the first on a nine-yard reception by Logan Peterson and another on a four-yard run on third and one by Jordan – and converted a fourth and four when Davis’ pinpoint pass to Logan Bridges on a curl route gained 19 yards.
Three plays later, McClellan showed his power on a one-yard blast off right tackle for a touchdown as the Bearcats regained the lead.
Aledo went for two points on the conversion, and Davis rifled a pass to Peterson, whose leaping grab resulted in the conversion to give the Bearcats a 29-23 lead with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter.
Before the crowd could catch its breath, Roane led the Panthers to the end zone again. The drive, however, was kept alive by an Aledo fumbled punt, and Roane turned the miscue into six points.
Four plays following the turnover, Roane lofted a long pass to Ahmad, who jumped over two defenders, took a hard hit but hung onto the ball for a touchdown with 2:27 left in the third period.
Watson was true on the PAT kick as Heritage came back to take a 30-29 lead.
Aledo turned the ball over again on a lost fumble on its ensuing possession, but the Bearcats Black Shirts forced Heritage out on downs after Carter broke up a pass on fourth down as the ball went back to Aledo.
The Bearcats followed with one of the biggest plays of the contest.
On second and eight from his own 21, Davis threw a quick sideline pass to Jefferis, who broke a tackle in single coverage and turned on the jets down the left sideline on his way to a timely 79-yard touchdown catch and run with 7:06 left in the game.
“I knew when the ball was in the air that I would score,” Jefferis said. “I had some yards on him (Heritage defender) and I think he got me on the back but I brushed him off and there was no way anyone was going to catch me. I knew I had to score.”
The PAT pass failed as Aledo hung on to a 35-30 lead.
The teams traded punts, and with 5:00 left in the game Roane led his team on a eight-play. 78-yard drive that was closed by a 15-yard Roane-to-Ahmad TD pass with 2:07 remaining in the highly-competitive contest.
Heritage, however, made a costly mistake on the ensuing kickoff with a boot that sailed out of bounds at the AHS 47.
With time running short, Davis moved the ball to the Heritage 38 on a pass to Jefferis followed by a completion to Carter. Davis followed with a 21-yard strike to Rosson to set up the touchdown by Carter that gave the Bearcats a 41-36 lead with 1:24 left to play.
The Bearcats will continue non-district play at home next week against Westlake Valley, Calif. Kickoff is at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, at Bearcat Stadium.