State-ranked No. 1 Aledo scored 38 unanswered points in the first half as the Bearcats ran past Everman, 52-6 Friday night in a District 5-5A game at Bearcat Stadium.
The win raises the Bearcats’ district record to 2-0 and 4-0 overall.
The Bearcats opened the scoring in the first quarter on a nine-play, 80-play drive that ended on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jake Bishop to this year’s new sensation at receiver, Jo Jo Earle. Earle beat single coverage and hauled in Bishop’s pass on the right side of the end zone with 5:28 remaining in the opening quarter.
Harper Smith booted the extra point for a 7-0 cushion.
After Aledo held Everman to its third punt in the Bulldogs’ first three possessions, Jase McClellan took his first carry of the game and sprinted 36 yards off left tackle for an easy score. Smith’s PAT with 3:43 left in the first quarter extended Aledo’s lead to 14-0.
After forcing Everman to punt for the fourth time in the first period, Smith ended a stalled AHS drive with a 25-yard field goal to increase the Bearcats’ lead to 17-0.
On Everman’s next possession, the Bearcats’ defense got into the scoring act. On second and 11 from the Everman 24, Bulldogs quarterback Antonio Little fired a pass to the right side that was intercepted by linebacker Max Lucas, who took it to the house with a twisting and turning 24-yard touchdown return with 9:18 left in the half.
Smith’s PAT extended the AHS advantage to 24-0.
Everman punted for the fifth time in the half on its ensuing possession.
Aledo came back with a two-play touchdown drive that was finished on a nifty reverse play. On first and 10 from the EHS 37, Bishop handed the ball off to McClellan, who raced to his left and handed the ball to Earle on a reverse. The speedy sophomore sprinted 37 yards toward the end zone, dragging three Everman defenders to the 1 before diving over the goal line to complete a spectacular score.
With 7:45 remaining in the half, Smith’s PAT increased the Bearcats’ lead to 31-0.
On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Aledo forced another Everman punt, but on fourth down the snap was low and bounced past the punter to the Everman 20, where it was recovered by the ‘Cats.
McClellan raced for 15 yards on first down, and two plays later, the junior crashed into the end zone from a yard out, and Smith’s extra point increased the AHS cushion to 38-0, where it remained at the half.
The Bearcats Black Shirts held Everman to just two first downs and 47 total yards in the first 12 minutes.
The Bearcats amassed 274 total yards in the first half. McClellan rushed 10 times for 96 yards with two TDS, with Tre Owens rushing five times for 52 yards. Earle caught three passes 41 yards to lead Aledo in the first half, and Bishop completed six of 10 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Everman began the third quarter with an eight-play drive that produced three first downs, the third bringing the ball to the Aledo 39. But on the next play the Bulldogs fumbled, and defensive tackle Cody Stone came up with the loose football at the EHS 36.
The Bearcats capitalized on the miscue with a six-play scoring drive that was closed on a four-yard TD pass from Bishop to a wide-open Earle in the back of the end zone. Smith’s boot increased the lead to 45-0.
After another Everman punt, receiver Hampton Fay came in at quarterback and sprinted 22 yards to the EHS 38 on second down. On the next play, tailback Avery Jackson outraced five defenders down the right sideline to the end zone, and Micco Little booted the extra point for a 52-0 lead with 55 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Everman got on the board and closed the scoring with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Little to Juan Davis with 4:03 left to play.
McClellan finished with 129 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns. Bishop completed nine of 13 passes for 121 yards and two TDS, and Earle caught six passes for 72 yards and two TDs while rushing for another touchdown.