Aledo scored early and often as the Bearcats ran past the MX (Mexico) Dragons 63-0, Friday night in an international grid contest at Bearcat Stadium.
The win evens the Bearcats record at 1-1. Aledo will open District 5-5A, Division II action at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 at home against Burleson Centennial.
Bearcats head coach Tim Buchanan praised his defense for their shutout effort. The stingy Aledo defense held the Dragons to 56 total yards in the first half.
“We made a lot of improvement on defense, especially in the secondary,” Buchanan said. “(Defensive backs) Nathen Fingar and B.J. Allen both ended up with an interception, and Nolan Garcia did a good job at linebacker along with Keenan Hess.
“Seeing Guyer last week really helped us this week.”
It did not take long for the Bearcats to find the end zone.
On Aledo’s opening possession, two complete passes by quarterback Jake Bishop – an 11-yarder to Micco Little and a 27-yard completion to Money Parks – brought the ball to the Dragons’ 1.
On the next play, tailback Matt Tague scored untouched on a run down the right side, and Micco Little’s extra-point kick gave the Bearcat a quick 7-0 lead.
It did not take long for the Bearcats to get the ball back.
On the Dragons’ first play, quarterback Jose Gonzalez’s deep pass was intercepted by B.J. Allen at the Bearcats’ 45.
A Bishop pass to Little for 10 yards followed by a Bishop scramble for seven yards put the ball on the visitor’s 43. On the next play, Bishop tossed a high, deep pass down the right side, hitting Parks in stride to complete a 43-yard touchdown play.
With 8:43 left in the first quarter, Little added the extra point for a 14-0 lead.
After forcing the Dragons to punt, Aledo marched 48 yards on four plays and the drive ended on an 11-yard touchdown run by Tague. Bishop completed two passes in the short drive – a 15-yarder to Little and a 13-yard completion to Parks.
Little added the PAT, and with 5:17 remaining in the opening period the ’Cats led 21-0.
The Bearcat Black Shirts forced another punt, and it took just three plays for Aledo to score again, this time on a perfectly-placed fade pass to Jo Jo Earle, who cradled the pass in stride for a 22-yard touchdown with 3:11 left in the first quarter.
Morgan Huhtanen added the PAT to increase the AHS advantage to 28-0.
The first-period scoring was not over for Aledo. After the defense forced a fourth punt – after a fumbled snap the Dragons punter barely got off the kick – the offense started on the Dragons’ 16.
Four plays later, on third and goal, Tague blasted off right tackle for a one-yard score, and Little’s kick extended the lead to 35-0 with 17 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Bearcat Black Shirts were stingy again, forcing another punt after three plays. It took only one play for the Bearcats to find pay dirt.
On first down, Bishop threw a tight spiral toward the left sideline where receiver Jaedon Pellegrino stretched out to make the catch. But instead of running out of bounds, Pellegrino made a spin move and tight-roped down the sideline, regaining his balance and sprinting across the goal line for a 58-yard TD.
Huhtanen added the PAT to increase the lead to 42-0.
The Dragons mounted a drive on their next possession, using nine plays to move the ball to the AHS 44. However, on the next play, the drive ended on an interception by Aledo senior safety Nathen Fingar at the Dragons’ 45.
The ‘Cats turned the pick into a TD when Tague sprinted 18 yards down the middle of the Dragons’ defense and into the end zone with 4:05 left in the half.
Little’s boot extended the Bearcats’ lead to 49-0.
Aledo closed the first-half scoring on a 23-yard pass from Bishop to Parks. Huhtanen added the PAT to give Aledo a 56-0 lead, where it remained at the half.
Tague rushed for three touchdowns in the first half, rushing 10 times for 73 yards. Bishop completed 15 of 18 passes for 311 yards and five touchdowns. Parks caught four passes for 106 yards and two TDs to lead Aledo.
A fumble recovery by Jason Llewellyn on the Dragons’ two after an Aledo punt set up the Bearcats for a third-quarter score. On first down, Tague ran untouched down the right side and into the end zone, and Little’s kick extended the lead to 63-0.
The Dragons had an excellent chance to get on the board late in the fourth quarter, driving to the AHS 5 on 11 plays. But on fourth and five from the AHS six, Dragon quarterback Alan Herrera threw an incomplete pass to end the longest march of the game for the visitors.