No. 1 Aledo found the end zone early and often as the Bearcats ran away with a 66-0 victory over the Waco University Trojans Friday night in a District 5-5A, Division II game at Bearcat Stadium.
The win raises the Bearcats’ overall record to 8-0, and 6-0 in 5-5A. The win was also Aledo’s state-record 81st consecutive district victory.
“It was a good game because a lot of guys got to play,” Bearcats head coach Steve Wood said. “I was especially proud of our second defensive unit. They played well and preserved the shutout.
“I thought both the offense and defense came out ready to play.”
With tailback Jase McClellan out to nurse a slight injury, Wood turned to his reserve backs. Ryan Anderson, who normally plays defense, led the ‘Cats with 17 carries for 65 yards and two touchdowns.
“People may have forgotten that Ryan had more than 100 yards rushing last year against Brewer,” Wood said. “He was this classes (senior class) running back all through junior high. He knows how to carry the ball, and I am not surprised with how well he ran the ball.”
Aledo got on the board first, forcing a Trojans’ punt after three downs netted minus 16 yards on the game’s opening possession. But an errant University snap on a fourth-down punt attempt gave the Bearcats excellent field position at the Trojans’ 25.
It took two plays for the ‘Cats to reach the end zone. On second and 10 from the University 25, tailback Avery Jackson – who started in place of McClellan – shot into the secondary off right tackle and bounced outside to complete the TD run down the right sideline.
Harper Smith booted the extra point as Aledo jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead.
After forcing a Trojans’ punt, Aledo needed four plays to travel 56 yards to the end zone. After quarterback Jake Bishop scrambled 17 yards to the University 18, on the next play he tossed a pass into the left flat to receiver Jo Jo Earle, who turned it into an 18-yard touchdown after outrunning the secondary to the end zone.
Smith added the PAT, and with 5:38 remaining in the opening quarter Aledo led 14-0.
After another three and out for University, the Bearcats drove 57 yards to the University 6 before settling for a 23-yard field goal by Smith for a 17-0 cushion with 1:08 remaining in the first quarter.
A sack by AHS all-state defensive end Colt Ellison stopped the next Trojans’ drive.
The Bearcats needed just six plays to find the end zone, the last three passes by Bishop. His first pass was of 13 yards to Mylen Hayhurst, and the second a 10-yard toss to tailback Tre Owens. On first and goal from the Trojans’ 4, Bishop found Hayhurst wide open on the left side of the end zone and completed an easy 4-yard TD pass with 10:15 left in the first half.
Smith’s PAT extended the lead to 24-0.
Once again, the Bearcats forced a three-and-out punt by the visitors. On the seventh play of Aledo’s ensuing drive, Hampton Fay, inserted at quarterback, fired a bullet to Hayhurst for a 21-yard touchdown, and Smith’s kick with 6:21 remaining in the half increased the lead to 31-0.
On the Trojans’ next possession, University fumbled on its first play and the ball was recovered by Ellison at the UHS 21.
On the next play Bishop, now back in at quarterback, fired a pass to a streaking Earle for a 21-yard touchdown down the left side. With 6:21 left in the half, Smith added the PAT for a 38-0 advantage.
The Bearcats defense – aka Black Shirts – decided to get into the scoring act next.
An errant University snap rolled into the end zone where a hustling Jake Ford recovered the pigskin for a touchdown. Smith added the PAT, and with 6:11 left in the half Aledo enjoyed a 45-0 lead.
The Black Shirts, however, were not finished scoring. On University’s second play of its ensuing possession, AHS cornerback Demarco Roberts intercepted a deep pass at his own 45, cut to the middle, made a spin move to avoid a tackle, juked a couple of would-be tacklers and was free down the right sideline to completed a 55-yard touchdown return.
With 3:54 remaining in the half, Smith tacked on the extra point for a 52-0 lead, where it remained at the half.
While the Aledo defense stole the show with 14 points at the end of the half, it was a dominant presence for the entire half. The Black Shirts held University to just 15 total yards and one first down.
Bishop completed 10 of 13 passes in the first half for 120 yards and two TDs. Hayhurst led all receivers with four catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. The Bearcats rushed for 117 yards, with Owens leading in the first half with 49 yards.
Aledo added to its total early in the third period. The Bearcats recovered a fumbled punt, and from there, Anderson led them to land of 6. Anderson carried on all eight plays of the 26-yard drive, scoring on a plunge off right tackle on fourth and goal from the University 1 with 4:58 left in the third quarter.
Micco Little booted the extra point as Aledo extended its lead to 59-0.
Aledo recovered another University fumble which led to a TD. Once again, Anderson did the honors, scoring from three yards out to complete a four-play, 24-yard drive. With 1:02 left in the third quarter, Little added the PAT for a 66-0 cushion.
In the fourth quarter – on its next possession – University gained its second first down of the game, but the drive ended with a punt. For the game, University gained just 38 total yards, 16 coming on its last drive.
The Bearcats ran out the clock to end the game.