By Nolan Ruth
The Community News
The Aledo Bearcats began district play on Friday, Sept. 17 against the Burleson Elks, riding a district winning streak of 97 games. Coming off of one of their best starts in a long time, the hometown Elks were looking to end that streak. However, the Bearcats had other plans as they cruised to a 56-14 win.
“Our defense played extremely well,” head coach Tim Buchanan said after the game. “Our offense played well the majority of the game, but they do a great job on defense of confusing you and we cut a few guys loose, other than that I thought it was a good football game.”
Aledo got off to a great start with its opening possession. Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi (7-11, 158 yards, 3 TDs passing; 2 carries, 14 yards rushing) drove the offense down to the Burleson 35 yard line before finding a wide open Hauss Hejny (5 receptions, 126 yards, 2 TDs receiving) for the first score of the game.
The Bearcat defense went to work right away, forcing a punt. Once again, it was Nicolosi to a wide open Hejny from 46 yards out to take an early 14-0 lead.
“Brayden does a really good job of keeping his eyes down field,” Hejny said about the chemistry between him and his quarterback. “My job is to just get into his vision. That’s what I did and I just made something happen when I got the ball.”
The Aledo defense created a turnover on the ensuing drive when Taylon Kessler (1 tackle, 1 FR, 1 INT, 1 TD) recovered a fumble at the Bearcat 40 yard line.
The offense drove right back down and scored on an incredible escape and throw by Nicolosi to a double-covered Brian Fleming (2 receptions, 27 yards, 1 TD), bringing the first quarter score to 21-0.
The Elks held the ball for most of the second quarter, appearing to finally have a scoring drive going. However a Dylan Raoila pass was intercepted by Kessler who brought it all the way back for a touchdown. Burleson was able to get on the board before halftime, bringing the score at the break to 28-7.
The Elks came out in the second half and made an immediate statement with another touchdown. The Bearcats weren’t fazed. Ryan Williams (18 carries, 123 yards, 2 TDs) only needed two carries to find the end zone and widen the gap to 35-14.
“Both [Burleson] touchdowns came on miscommunications,” Kessler said about the two scoring drives. “If it weren’t for that, I don’t know if they would have scored. We were angry, and we were hungry.”
In complete desperation mode, Burleson did not attempt another punt for the rest of the night, going for it on every fourth down it faced. They did not convert their first attempt and Williams went straight back to work, scoring from 22 yards out.
Back-to-back four and outs for both teams stalled the third quarter, but another notable play happened when Davhon Keys (6 tackles, 1 INT) intercepted a pass on fourth down to set Aledo up in great field position.
On the fourth play of the fourth quarter, Brant Hayden (2-2, 18 yards, 1 TD passing) found Oklahoma-commit Jason Llewellyn in the end zone for a 14-yard strike, bringing the score to 49-14. The final scoring play came just two plays later when Burleson fumbled and Cap Mooney recovered the ball and ran it in, bringing the final tally to 56-14.
The Bearcats improve to 4-0 (1-0) on the season, and will welcome to town the Everman Bulldogs 2-2(1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday, September 24th, at Bearcat Stadium for the Homecoming game.