The Aledo Bearcats used a 94-yard, eight and half minute drive late in the fourth quarter to pad their lead and hold off Boswell, 35-26, to run the table in district play and clinch another District 6-5A title.
“I don’t know that it was intentionally that long,” head coach Steve Wood said of the drive. “But I’m glad it worked out that way because I’m not certain we could have held their offense off any more. Our defense was tired.”
Boswell came out swinging immediately in the first half, coming within striking distance on their opening drive but missing a field goal attempt. Aledo countered with an 80-yard drive capped by a 28-yard Jake Bishop run for a touchdown, putting Aledo up 7-0 after the extra point. On Boswell’s next drive the field goal attempt was successful, making the score 7-3.
The two teams passed the ball back and forth a few times trying to get something going on offense, until a turnover on downs gave Boswell the ball at the 35 yard line. Two plays later, Giovanni Torres intercepted the ball for Aledo and the Bearcats immediately gave it back with another interception.
Two plays later, Boswell carted a 62-yard pass into the end zone, giving them a 10-7 lead over Aledo. Boswell would score again on its next possession to widen the lead to 16-7. Aledo scored with about a minute remaining in the half to trim the lead to 16-14.
“We didn’t really make any halftime adjustments other than telling all of them to relax,” Wood said. “I just wanted everyone to take their time and make the plays.”
Aledo rolled into the second half with a vengeance, scoring on a 2-yard run from Aaron Hale to take the lead, 21-16. They scored again on their next drive to widen the lead to 28-16 on a 52-yard pass from Bishop to Beau Mask. Boswell had to settle for a field goal in the ensuing drive, cutting the lead for Aledo to 28-19.
After Aledo failed to make a first down on its next possession, Boswell had a 5-play drive of its own, and narrowed the gap with Aledo to 28-26.
Aledo managed to chew up the clock for the vast majority of the fourth quarter with its 19-play drive, using what Wood called Tre Owens’ “fresh legs” to spell an exhausted offense. Bishop capped the drive with a five yard touchdown run, leaving less than two minutes in the game.
“Boswell is a very good team and they played hard tonight,” said Wood. “We needed a game like this. Now they’ve been battle tested.”
The Bearcats will face Wichita Falls Rider in the bi-district round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. Thursday at Saginaw High School.