In a game that saw a combined scoring total of 91 points, the state-ranked No. 1 Aledo Bearcats raced past the Brewer Bears, 67-24, Friday night in a District 6-5A shootout at Bearcat Stadium.
The win – which clinches a playoff spot – raises the Bearcats’ record to 8-0 and 5-0 in district play. The loss drops Brewer to 1-4 in league action.
“Our offense got after it pretty good,” Bearcats head coach Steve Wood said. “We can play better, but you have to give Brewer credit, they came ready to play. I thought we were a little bit flat and I probably did a poor job of getting them ready.
“Brewer had its defense stacked on the line, so we needed to throw the ball. We didn’t make a couple of plays early and got off to a slow start, but we got it going, especially offensively in the third quarter. We don’t really want to throw the football when we are up by so much, but they kept stacking the line.
“The way they were playing defense, we really didn’t have an alternative. It is nice to know we can go score, but we should have stopped them better tonight.”
Wood said even though the goals in Aledo are loftier than most, he said he still feels clinching a playoff spot is more than just a first step toward a higher goal.
“I have been on the other side of this where we weren’t near as blessed as we are here in Aledo,” Wood explained. “So I never take for granted that we clinched a playoff spot. It means a lot to me to know we are going to the playoffs.
“Our goals are higher than just making the playoffs – as they should be when you are in Aledo – but I am very fortunate and very happy to be able to go to the playoffs.”
The first half began like all but one district game for the Bearcats, with Aledo scoring on its first drive.
But the score was just a field goal. After Davis connected with receiver Hunter Rosson for a 50-yard gain to the Brewer 18, the drive stalled and Quinn Davis kicked A 30-yard field goal to give the Bearcats a quick 3-0 lead.
After forcing Brewer to punt for a second consecutive possession, Aledo put together a four-play, 40-yard drive that concluded with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Davis to Rosson. Rosson was tightly covered on the play, but Davis threw a perfect pass over Rosson’s shoulder, and the junior receiver made the difficult catch for the score.
Rosson would finish with 5 catches for 130 yards.
Reed Vierling booted the extra point, and with 3:11 left in the first quarter the Bearcats extended their lead to 10-0.
On its next possession Brewer failed to move the ball past midfield and punted the ball back to the Bearcats.
On first down from the AHS 30, receiver Logan Bridges gained 14 yards on a jet sweep. After Donnie Evans carried for nine yards, Davis found receiver Preston Jefferis wide open at the Brewer 10, but Davis’ pass was underthrown and Jefferis caught the ball at the BHS 11 but fell to a knee after his reception.
“Preston was so wide open that I made sure I did not overthrow him,” Davis said. “Preston made a great catch by coming back and going to the ball.”
Two plays later, Davis faced a third and seven, and the senior gunslinger whipped an eight-yard touchdown pass to Rosson, who made a sensational toe-tapping catch on the right sideline. Quinn Davis added the PAT, and with 9:01 remaining in the second quarter the Bearcats increased their lead to 17-0.
“Dillon put the ball to where only I could catch it,” Rosson said. “It was a perfect pass because I was covered well.”
On its ensuing possession, Brewer stayed on the ground for five straight plays, but once again was forced to punt.
But the punt snap went over the Bears’ punter’s head and Aledo had the ball in excellent field position at the Brewer 31. On the next play, Davis sent a towering pass on the money to Jefferis down the middle of the field, and the receiver’s over-the-shoulder catch added another six points to the hosts’ side of the scoreboard.
Vierling added the PAT, and with 5:22 left in the half Aledo built a 24-0 advantage.
Trying anything to get a score, a fake punt by Brewer fell incomplete as the ball went over to Aledo.
With the ball at the BHS 46, Davis carried for 21 yards to bring the pigskin to the Bears’ 25. Davis followed with a pair of pass completions, the first to Jefferis for seven yards and the next to Bridges for 16 yards to move the ball to the visitors’ 2.
On the next play, freshman running back Jase McClellan took a toss from Davis and sprinted untouched across the goal line. McClellan had an unobstructed alley thanks to a crunching block by James Williams, a defensive tackle used on offense as a blocking back in short-yardage situations.
Quinn Davis tacked on the extra point as the Bearcats took a 31-0 lead into the locker room at the half.
The Bearcats piled up 250 yards of total offense in the first half, while the Aledo defense held Brewer to just 80 total yards.
Brewer found the end zone to begin the second half. On second and five, Brewer quarterback Carson Ingram called his own number and sprinted 59 yards down the left sideline and into the end zone. Oscar Rodriguez booted the extra point to cut the Bearcats’ lead to 31-7.
It took just six plays for Aledo to match the score. Facing a fourth and four from the BHS 32, Davis sent a pass toward receiver Hayden Hyles, who was double covered. But Davis’ pass went exactly between the two defenders, and Hyles gathered in the pass on the run and ran to the end zone to compete a 32-yard touchdown play.
Vierling added the PAT, and with 7:58 remaining in the third period the Bearcats’ lead grew to 38-7.
Feisty Brewer, however, continued to move the ball, and Ingram showed a flash of brilliance with a twisting and turning 33-yard TD run with 4:04 left in the third period. Rodriguez added the PAT to cut the Aledo lead to 38-14.
The seesaw scoring nature of the third quarter continued when the Bearcats got the ball back. Davis began the drive with a 26-yard completion to Rosson, and two plays later, McClellan sprinted through a huge hole off right tackle and outran four defenders to the end zone for a 41-yard TD.
Quinn Davis added the extra point, and with 2:56 left in the wild third quarter the Bearcats led 45-14.
To begin the fourth quarter, the Bearcats immediately got into scoring position when Wyatt Harris returned a punt 40 yards to the BHS 24. On first down, Davis dialed up Rosson again and completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to the junior receiver, his third of the game.
Vierling tacked on the extra point, and with 10:50 left to play the Bearcats’ cushion increased to 52-14.
The fourth quarter resembled the third as each team’s offenses dominated play. Brewer had a long drive stall and settled for a 38-yard field goal by Rodriguez to cut the hosts’ lead to 52-17.
But once again, the Bearcats used a big play to reach the end zone and counter the Bears’ score. Kick returner Brannon Webb gave his team great field position by taking the ensuing kickoff from his own 24 to the BHS 26.
Two plays later, Evans scored on a 20-yard, cut-back run that started in the middle and ended up with the junior scampering down the right side and into the end zone. Quinn Davis added the PAT, and with 6:51 remaining in the contest Aledo’s cushion stretched to 59-17.
Although the outcome of the game was not in doubt, each team reached the end zone one more time.
Brewer tailback Bryce Miller displayed his speed with a 41-yard sprint to pay dirt down the left sideline. Rodriguez added the extra point to cut the lead to 59-24.
Aledo closed the scoring on a spectacular 33-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Michael Jordan. On the play, Jordan took a handoff and was stopped cold off right tackle. But Brewer defenders could not wrap up Jordan, and he bounced to his left and found daylight. Jordan made a spin move down field and raced down the left sideline to the end zone to complete a dazzling TD run.
On the conversion kick attempt, the snap got away from holder Zane Hayden, and the senior scooped up the loose ball and alertly rambled to his left and across the goal line to leave the score at 67-24.
Unofficially, the Bearcats rushed for 238 yards – led by Jordan’s 76 yards – and passed for 257 for 495 total yards. Davis completed 11 of 19 passes for 257 yards and five touchdowns. McClellan finished with 61 yards on four carries with a pair of TDs, while Evans rushed seven times for 50 yards.
Jefferis also had a productive game with four catches for 79 yards.
The Bearcats will continue district play at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at Northwest High School in a battle of 8-0 teams.