Class 5A state-ranked No. 1 Aledo scored 24 first-half points on its way to a 40-0 victory over the Denton Guyer Wildcats Friday night in the season opener at Collins Stadium in Denton.
“This was a good start and good as I could possibly hope for,” Bearcats head coach Steve Wood said. “Our offense played well and our defense fought hard. Guyer made some first downs, but we would win a down and get them off track a bit.
“But our guys gave great effort. In no way would I of thought this (winning by 40 points) would have happened, but it was a great start for our guys and our coaches. We know it is not about the start, it is about the finish, but we are going to celebrate tonight.”
To begin the opening half the Bearcats got on the board early. Aledo used 12 plays to march to the Guyer 10-yard line before settling for a 27-yard field goal by Harper Smith for a 3-0 lead. Aledo drove 65 yards on the drive, highlighted by a 29-yard run by junior tailback Jase McClellan.
An interception by Aledo safety Tre Owens set up the game’s first touchdown. Owen returned his pick off 23 yards to the Guyer 33.
On first down, junior quarterback Jake Bishop threw a deep pass down the middle to speedy sophomore receiver Jo Jo Earle, who easily beat single coverage and cradled the perfect spiral on the run for a 33-yard score.
Smith added the extra point as the Bearcats increased their led to 10-0 with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter.
Near the end of the opening quarter a foiled fake punt by Guyer set up the next Aledo score. With Guyer punting from its own 47, punter Cole Schroeder faked a pass, took off running and was immediately stopped by Grayson Porche as the Bearcats took over on downs at the hosts’ 42.
Aledo followed with a nine-play drive that ended on an eight-yard touchdown run by McClellan. On the TD play, McClellan sprinted to the right side and lowered his shoulder at the 1-yard line, breaking two tackles as he fell into the end zone.
With 8:11 left in the first half, Smith booted the PAT to extend the Bearcats’ lead to 17-0.
After forcing a Guyer punt, Aledo took over at its own 40. McClellan raced 33 yards on the second play of the drive to set up the Bearcats at the Guyer 17. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Wildcats moved the ball to the hosts’ 11, and four plays later – on fourth and one from the 1-1/2 yard line – McClellan powered over the goal line off right tackle for his second TD of the game with 1:54 remaining in the opening half.
Smith tacked on the extra point as the Bearcats took a 24-0 lead, where it remained at the break.
McClellan rushed for 108 yards on 15 carries in the first half, and Bishop completed seven of nine passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Earle caught five passes in the first half for 57 yards, including his 33-yard score.
The Bearcats’ defense stopped all four Guyer drives in the first half and limited the Wildcats to 66 total yards. Aledo finished the first 24 minutes with 196 total yards.
In the third quarter, the only scoring was a 31-yard field goal by Smith which gave the Bearcats a 27-0 lead with 36 seconds remaining in the period.
The Bearcats closed the scoring with a touchdown from each side of the ball in the fourth quarter. Bishop and Earle hooked up again, this time on a 25-yard touchdown pass, and Ryan Anderson stopped a long Guyer drive with a 99-yard interception return to pay dirt.