AHS Ladycats vs. Springtown at Aledo;
Varsity, 6:30 p.m.
JV, 5 p.m.
9th, 5 p.m.
(Video By Dominic Genetti)
Aledo junior running back Johnathan Gray rushed for a career-high 303 yards and scored five touchdowns to lead the Class 4A No. 1 Bearcats to a 63-17 victory over Boswell Friday night in a District 5-4A contest at Bearcat Stadium.
The win raises the Bearcats record to 7-0, and 4-0 in 5-4A, while Boswell drops to 3-1 in district play.
Gray led a Bearcat offense that produced 661 total yards. Aledo ran for 441 yards and passed for 220. Junior quarterback Matt Bishop connected on 10 of 15 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to junior receiver Todd Christian, who had TD grabs of 45 and 25 yards, respectively.
Bishop also scored on the ground on a crafty keeper of 54 yards after faking a handoff to Gray.
"We were running a zone (read) play and Matt pulled it down and ran for a touchdown," Bearcats head coach Tim Buchanan said of Bishop's rushing touchdown. "He was either going to hand it to John (Gray) or run it, and they took John, so he ran it."
Buchanan said Boswell tried to stack the line of scrimmage in an attempt to stop Gray.
"They stacked the line on us early, so we had to throw the football," Buchanan said. "Once we started throwing the ball and completing it down field, they loosened up a bit. Johnathan was getting good blocks across the board.
"In the first half, (tight end Justin) Breshears did a great job of blocking along with (receivers) Michael Hornsby and Parker Bradham, and both of our tackles (A.J. Ray and Michael Wilson) blocked very well."
Aledo built a 29-10 lead in the first quarter. On the opening play of the game, Bishop threw a pass near the left hash mark to Hornsby, who twisted, turned and faked out a Boswell defensive back on his way to a 58-yard touchdown. Kevin Frantz booted the extra point to give the Bearcats a 7-0 lead.
Later in the opening period, Boswell punted the ball to the Aledo 9. It took just two plays for the Bearcats to find the end zone.
On first down, Gray, behind a crunching block by Breshears, scooted 37 yards down the right side. On the next play, Bishop faked a handoff to Gray, cut up field off left tackle, faked a would-be tackler and sprinted 54 yards to the end zone.
On the PAT, the snap was bobbled, but alert holder Sean O'Donnell picked up the ball, rolled to his right and wanted to pass, but found nobody open. The speedy O'Donnell then cut to his left and outran four defenders to the left side of the end zone where he dove in for two points to increase the AHS advantage to 15-0.
Boswell got on the board on its next possession when quarterback Jacob Stone slipped through two Aledo defenders on his way to a 23-yard touchdown. Cole Parton added the extra point to cut the Bearcats' lead to 15-7.
Aledo quickly matched the score as Gray capped a four-play drive with a 34-yard touchdown run down the right sideline, breaking a pair of tackles along the way. Frantz tacked on the extra point to extend the lead to 22-7.
Boswell came back and reached Bearcat territory when Stone kept for a 42-yard gain, but the drive stalled and the Pioneers had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Parton to cut the lead to 22-10 with 48 seconds left in the opening quarter.
It took Bishop just two plays to lead the Bearcats to the end zone again. On first down from the AHS 37, Bishop completed a pass to junior receiver Michael Mann for 18 yards. On the following play, Bishop threw a long, tall pass near the goal line to Christian, who turned back for the ball between two defenders and caught the pass as he fell backwards into the end zone. Frantz's kick with 18 seconds left in the first quarter increased the lead to 29-10.
Gray scored twice in the second quarter. His two-yard touchdown run with 3:12 left in the half capped a six-play, 32-yard drive, and with 1:24 left in the half, the all-state runner darted through a huge hole off left tackle for a 59-yard score as Aledo led 43-10 at the break.
In the third quarter, Gray was not done as he added a pair of long touchdown runs. His first - on the Bearcats first play of the second half - was a 61-yard sprint through a wide gap off right tackle between Ray and France.
Gray's second touchdown of the quarter and fifth of the contest came on a 63-yard run where he changed directions three times before waltzing into the end zone. Frantz booted the extra point on Gray's first TD, and on the second the snap was low and the run failed as Aledo led 56-17 with 6:06 left in the third period.
In between Gray's touchdowns, Boswell found the end zone on a 58-yard pass from Stone to Caden McNeill, with Parton adding the PAT.
The Bearcats closed the scoring with 2:15 remaining in the third quarter on a 25-yard pass from Bishop to a wide-open Christian on the right side of the end zone. Tanner Linn booted the extra point to extend the lead to 63-17.
For the complete story, and for more comments from Coach Buchanan and the Bearcats, please see the Oct. 22 issue of The Community News.