It was a rough ride for the Saginaw Rough Riders on Homecoming Night in Aledo.
Paced by 342 yards passing and five touchdowns by Aledo senior quarterback Dillon Davis, the state-ranked No. 2 Bearcats rolled up 611 yards of total offense on their way to a convincing 70-7 victory over Saginaw Friday on Homecoming Night at Bearcat Stadium in a District 6-5A contest.
The win raises the Bearcats’ district mark to 2-0 and 5-0 overall, while Saginaw drops to 1-1 in league play.
Davis completed 17 of 23 passes with no interceptions, and freshman tailback Jase McClellan rushed for a game-high 134 yards on 12 carries with a pair of TDs.
“The guys were ready to play tonight,” Bearcats head coach Steve Wood said. “In all honesty I was a little worried about them – it being Homecoming week can offer a lot of distractions – but they came out and got after it.
“Dillon is something else. The truth of the matter is that he threw the ball this well last year, but we just weren’t able to get open and catch the ball like we have been this year. Our receivers are getting better, and as a team we will just keep working harder to get better.”
Another unit that is getting better every week is the Bearcats’ defense, aka the Black Shirts. Aledo allowed 72 total yards in the first half and 92 for the game. The Bearcats have allowed just one touchdown in two district games.
“Saginaw has some athletes, but in today’s game any time you hold anybody to seven points you have to be thankful,” Wood said. “I thought we covered better, but we pretty much eliminated their run game so we knew they were going to pass it once we did that. It was huge to stop their run.”
On the first play of the game, the Bearcats reached pay dirt.
On a play-action pass, Davis sent a long spiral down the middle of the field and Hunter Rosson ran under the areal, catching the ball in stride for a 75-yard touchdown pass just 15 seconds into the contest. Quinn Davis booted the extra point to give the hosts a quick 7-0 lead.
When Saginaw got the ball back, it may have gone to the air once too often. Quarterback Cade Puente began the Rough Riders first series on offense with a seven-yard pass completion to receiver Quindell Samreth, and on the next play earned a first down after completing a four-yard pass to receiver Zech Campbell.
But on the next play, Puente’s pass to the middle was deflected, and alert Aledo defensive tackle James “Big Game” Williams snatched the ball for the interception.
The Bearcats needed four plays to find the end zone again. After junior tailback Donnie Evans ran for three yards and Davis completed a two-yard pass to Rosson, Davis went to the air again, this time to Logan Bridges for 16 yards to move the ball to the Saginaw 1-yard line.
Evans did the honors on the next play, crashing off left tackle and over the goal line for a score with 9:04 left in the first quarter. Quinn Davis added the PAT to extend the lead to 14-0.
After forcing Saginaw to punt, the Bearcats put together a six-play, 65-yard drive that ended on a 30-yard sprint to the end zone by McClellan. On the play, McClellan burst off right tackle but was met in the secondary. However, the bruising frosh broke two tackles and never stopped until he reached the end zone. McClellan rushed four times for 64 yards on the drive, accounting for all but four yards.
With 5:12 remaining in the opening period, Quinn Davis added the extra point for a 21-0 cushion.
The next Saginaw drive was thwarted by an interception by sophomore defensive back Jeffrey Carter at the Saginaw 22, but for the first time in the contest the visitors forced Aledo to punt.
Inspired by the stop, Saginaw followed with a six-play, 67-yard drive capped by a 36-yard pass from Puente to receiver Clint Smith for a touchdown with 22 seconds left in the first quarter. Felix Cano booted the extra point to cut the Bearcats’ lead to 21-7.
The Bearcats came back with a four-play drive to match the score. Davis completed a 17-yard pass to Logan Peterson to move the ball to the Rough Riders’ 37. On the next play Davis went to the air again, firing a 37-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Bridges, who with no one around him caught the pass at the 10 and walked into the end zone with 10:53 left in the half. Reed Vierling booted the extra point to increase the hosts’ lead to 28-7.
Later in the second quarter, after the Bearcats forced Saginaw to punt, Aledo put together a 74-yard, four-play drive for another touchdown.
Davis completed an eight-yard pass to Carter on third and six to move the chains, then called Carter’s number again on the next play. Running a short hook route, Carter caught Davis’ pass, juked to the middle but then quickly cut down the right sideline, sprinting past four defenders on his way to the end zone with 3:39 left in the half.
Quinn Davis added the PAT as the Bearcats stretched their led to 35-7.
After forcing another punt on a three and out, Aledo struck again before the half.
Facing a third and 10, Davis completed a 15-yard pass to Rosson to keep the drive alive. A screen pass to Carter for 31 yards two plays later brought the ball to the Saginaw 9. On the ensuing play, Davis fired a pass to Carter on a slant route on the right side, and the receiver caught the pass, sprinted past two defenders and across the goal line with 59 seconds left in the half.
Vierling booted the extra points as Aledo led 42-7, where it remained at the half.
During halftime ceremonies, Aledo senior Ellie Posey was crowned Aledo High School’s 2016 Homecoming Queen.
An interception by sophomore cornerback Brannon Webb on the second play of the second half set up the Bearcats for a score. With the ball at his own 49, Davis lofted a pass down the left sideline to Logan Peterson, who dragged three defenders down to the Saginaw 1.
On the next play, Evans sprinted to his right past and flew past the left side of the Saginaw defense and waltzed into the end zone for a touchdown. Quinn Davis added the PAT to extend the Aledo lead to 49-7.
After forcing a Saginaw punt, McClellan and Will Greenwood led an eight-play, all-runs drive that ended on a six-yard touchdown run up the middle by McClellan, who was untouched. McClellan carried six times in the drive for 65 yards, with Greenwood carrying twice for 10 yards.
Vierling added the extra point, and with three minutes left in the third quarter the Bearcats enjoyed a 56-7 cushion.
Pushing Saginaw backwards, the Bearcats Black Shirts forced another three-and-out punt.
This time, senior tailback Michael Jordan – who had missed the season opener last week with an injury – carried four times in Aledo’s ensuing drive for 21 yards, the final four yards coming on a touchdown run with 11:24 left to play.
“It felt really good to get back out there,” Jordan said. “I was told I would only see spot duty tonight so I made the most of my carries.”
Quinn Davis added the extra point for a 63-7 advantage.
Aledo closed the scoring with 4:08 remaining on a 25-yard touchdown pass from new quarterback Zane Hayden to junior receiver Beau Mask. Vierling tacked on the extra point for a 70-7 lead.
AHS notes: The Ladycats volleyball team swept Saginaw, 25-14, 25-13, 25-23 to move to 6-1 in District 6-5A. The win elevates Aledo’s overall record to 28-8. Maddie Goings sent down a match-high 14 kills to go along with 12 digs, and junior libero Allegra Rivas picked up a match-high 18 digs. Senior setter Erin Weiss has 28 assists, and at the service line, Amanda Norman fired four aces.