No. 1 Aledo found the end zone early and often as the Bearcats ran past the Waco University Trojans, 77-10, Friday night in a District 5-5A, Division II game at Waco ISD Stadium.
The win elevates the Bearcats’ district mark to 6-0, 7-1 overall, while the Trojans fall to 2-4 in 5-5A. Aledo has now won 89 consecutive district games, an ongoing state record. The streak dates back to 2007.
The Bearcats scored a touchdown on all seven drives in the first half.
It was the Jo Jo Earle show in the first quarter as the receiver/tailback scored a touchdown on each of the first three drives, and in three different ways.
His first, which gave Aledo a 7-0 lead, was on a 56-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jake Bishop.
His second TD came from his tailback position. With the ball at the University 9, Earle took a handoff from Bishop off right tackle into the secondary, where he juked twice and made a spin move before crossing the goal line for a 14-0 advantage.
After University connected on a 22-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3, Earle’s third TD of the opening quarter came while he was the “quarterback” in the Wildcat formation. Taking a direct snap from the University 6, Earle outraced the Trojans’ defense down the left sideline and into the end zone.
As he did on the previous TDs, Micco Little booted the extra point to give the Bearcats a 21-3 lead with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter.
In the second period, an interception by Demarco Roberts set up another Bearcats’ score.
Bishop engineered an 11-play, 60-yard drive that ended on a six-yard run off right tackle by, fittingly, Roberts, who along with Earle rotated at tailback.
Bishop kept the drive alive with a pass completions on third down and another on fourth down.
The first was on third and 5 from the AHS 45 to Money Parks for 13 yards, and the second – on fourth down and six from the UHS 27 – to Earle for nine yards.
With 9:58 left in the first half, Little added the PAT to increase the lead to 28-3.
After forcing the Trojans three and out, it took just three plays for the ‘Cats to cross the goal line again.
From the UHS 39, Bishop began the short drive with a 27-yard pass completion to receiver Cade Jones, and on the next play, Earle took a handoff and scooted 18 yards to the hosts’ 11.
On the following play, Earle took a handoff and flew down the right side for an 11-yard TD. Little’s PAT with 7:46 remaining in the half extended the Aledo advantage to 35-3.
Aledo’s defense forced another three and out, but this time it took just two plays for the ‘Cats to reach pay dirt. The TD was set up on first down when Bishop completed a 46-yard pass to Little to bring the pigskin to the hosts’ 15.
On the ensuing play, Bishop found a wide open Earle in the back of the end zone to complete a 15-yard touchdown pass with 3:53 left in the half. Little added the extra point for a 42-3 lead.
University put together a seven-play drive that ended when the Trojans’ fourth-and-one attempt from the Aledo 19 was stuffed for negative yardage as the Bearcats took over on downs from their own 20 with 20 seconds remaining in the half.
Bishop put the ‘Cats in scoring position when on first down he connected with Earle for a 45-yard gain to the University 35 with just six ticks left on the clock.
With time for one more play, Bishop tossed an aerial to Parks, who caught the ball at the UHS 5 and dragged a pair of defenders into the end zone as time expired in the first half.
Little added the PAT to give the Bearcats a 49-3 halftime lead.
Earle accounted for 198 yards in the first half, including catching six passes for 144 yards. Bishop completed 14 of 17 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Aledo gained 407 total yards in the first half.
After allowing 33 yards on the first two plays of the third quarter, the Aledo defense stiffened and forced a punt – but the punt never made it to the line of scrimmage after the kick hit the back of a University lineman for a three-yard loss as Aledo took over at the Trojans’ 37.
On first down, a 24-yard pass completion to Parks brought the ball to the hosts’ 13. On the next play, Bishop found Earle all alone in the middle of the end zone to complete a 13-yard touchdown play with 8:32 left in the third quarter.
Little’s kick boosted the lead to 56-3.
The Trojans electrified the home crowd when on their ensuing series quarterback Jacob Bryant connected with receiver Corey Sandolph on a 75-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 56-10. Sandolph made a nifty cut move on the play at about the Aledo 30 to separate himself from the pack.
The Bearcats quickly matched the score, and unleashed a new weapon at tailback, junior varsity call-up Garrett Key. Key carried the ball on all nine plays in the drive, reaching the end zone on a one-yard plunge.
Morgan Huhtanen booted the extra point to extend the lead to 63-10 with 1:55 left in the third quarter.
The Bearcats accounted for two TDs in the fourth quarter. While Earle dominated the first half, Key was the key offensive player in the fourth period.
Key carried on all eight plays, his last a four-yard TD run off left tackle. Key would finish the contest with 120 yards on 20 carries.
Huhtanen added the PAT to increase the Bearcats’ lead to 70-10.
Key found the end zone again late in the fourth period on a 16-yard sprint down the right side. The drive began with a 39-yard quarterback keeper by Justin Roquemore and was also helped by a personal foul penalty on the Trojans.
Huhtanen added the PAT to give the Bearcats a 77-10 lead.
University failed to score on its last possession as the Bearcats stayed undefeated in district play while also notching their 89th consecutive district win.