By Nolan Ruth
The Community News
The Aledo Bearcats lost a district matchup with the Everman Bulldogs, 35-28, on Oct. 5, 2007. The next Friday, Oct. 12, 2007, the Bearcats bounced back against Alvarado 38-14. Fourteen years and three days later, on Friday ,Oct. 15, 2021, Aledo won its 100th consecutive district matchup, defeating the Mansfield Timberview Wolves 35-21.
It was a weird week for the team, as standardized testing and two days off school created a hectic practice schedule. That appeared to have an effect on the team in the first half as the game started off slowly.
Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi (15-22, 240 yards, 2 TDs passing, 3 carries, 28 yards rushing) finally broke things open late in the first quarter with a touchdown strike to Jalen Pope (3 receptions, 27 yards, 1 TD), giving the Bearcats a 7-0 lead at the end of one quarter.
Aledo was able to put together a good drive midway through the second quarter, capped off by a two yard touchdown run by Davhon Keys (4 carries, 5 yards rushing, 1 TD). Timberview responded with a drive of their own that resulted in a touchdown bringing the score to 14-7.
Two freak plays late in the second quarter allowed the Wolves to tie the game up at 14 going into the locker room for halftime.
“We had to apply more pressure on the quarterback,” senior linebacker Garrett Key said about the adjustments made. “When you apply pressure on the quarterback, he can’t do anything. So we stressed that after the first half.”
The Bearcats were able to come up with a stop at the beginning of the second half, and Hauss Hejny (4 carries, 33 yards, 1 TD rushing, 4 receptions, 113 yards receiving) gave Aledo a 20-14 lead on a 20 keeper out of the wildcat formation. However, the snap on the extra point was mishandled, keeping the Bearcat lead to only six points.
Timberview immediately drove down the field and took the lead with three and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter. Aledo proceeded to go on a long drive that went into the fourth quarter and saw the Bearcats get all the way down to the five yard line.
As the offense appeared to have taken over and was looking like they were going to score, a fumble gave the Wolves the ball at their own five yard line. Needing a stop, the Aledo defense came out and did not let Timberview pick up a first down, forcing a punt.
On the very next drive, the Bearcats punched it in on a three-yard run by Ryan Williams (19 carries, 102 yards, 1 TD rushing) to retake the lead. Aledo opted to go for the two-point conversion to make it a seven point lead, and succeeded when Nicolosi ran a bootleg and found Jason Llewellyn (3 receptions, 57 yards, 1 TD) in the corner of the end zone.
“I decided early on that we needed to get that point back,” head coach Tim Buchanan said on the decision to go for two. “I wasn’t sure we were going to stop them and we needed to be up by seven points.”
It was not over yet, though. The Bearcat defense still needed to make another stop, and once again held the Wolves without a first down. With half a minute left, Llewellyn put the game on ice when he snagged a bullet from Nicolosi with just three fingers on the ball for a touchdown to seal the final score 35-28.
“Brayden is one of the best quarterbacks in the state,” Llewellyn said. “He put it in a great spot where only I could get it, it was phenomenal coverage by that defensive back, but he just put it in a really good spot and I was able to just stick my hand out there and catch it.”
The Bearcats have successfully reached 100 consecutive district wins, something that has never been done in the state of Texas. The team improves to 7-0(4-0) on the season and will face the Waco University Trojans (0-7) at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, at Waco ISD Stadium..