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Bearcats’ district win streak hits 99 with win over Joshua

Senior offensive linemen Gunnar Allen (73) and Maddox Epperson (60) form a wall against the Joshua defense. Photo by Ramon Morales.

By Nolan Ruth
The Community News

The Aledo Bearcats are one game away from history. When the Bearcats defeated the Joshua Owls (3-3) on Friday, Oct. 8, by a score of 55-0, the team extended its district winning streak to 99 games. Aledo did not let that change anything, as the team came out focused and ready for each snap as they came.

There was some question regarding the quarterback, however. Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi was injured three weeks prior against Burleson and missed the game against Everman, but was named as the starter coming into the game with Joshua.

“It was awesome,” Nicolosi said about his return. “Sitting on the sideline was the worst thing. I just wanted to get back on the field. Getting to play with my boys again and make that connection was awesome.”

The game was never in doubt, as on the second play from scrimmage, Nicolosi (4-6, 128 yards, 1 TD passing, 1 carry, 14 yards rushing) hit BJ Fleming (3 receptions, 130 yards, 2 TDs) on a screen, and Fleming proceeded to take it 73 yards for the touchdown.

The Bearcat defense then went right to work, forcing a Joshua punt on the next drive. It was then up to Sammy Steffe (11 carries, 236 yards, 3 TDs rushing) who took the handoff, broke free from defenders and raced 19 yards to paydirt.

Connor Smith scored a touchdown on a 61-yard run against Joshua. Photo by Ramon Morales

The next Aledo drive lasted only one play as Connor Smith (6 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD) got the ball and ran 61 yards to give the Bearcats a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Aledo’s first drive of the second quarter covered 81 yards on 9 plays, but stalled at the Owls’ three yard line, setting up a 20-yard Clay Murador field goal. Then, the Bearcat defense came up with a touchdown when Davhon Keys (2 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD) picked off a pass and strolled in from 15 yards out, making it 31-0.

On Joshua’s next drive, Aledo forced a punt that was blocked by Kyle “Boogie” Thompson (2 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack) and recovered at the Owls’ two yard line. One play later, Steffe scored his second touchdown of the game, bringing the halftime score to 38-0.

What should not go unmentioned is how dominant the Aledo defense was in the first half, allowing only seven yards of total offense.

“We had better communication this week,” senior defensive lineman Matthew Bell said about the defensive performance. “The last couple of weeks it wasn’t where it needed to be, but we knew what we needed to work on, we worked on it and executed when we needed to.”

The Bearcat offense did not miss a beat coming out of the locker room as Steffe scored his third touchdown on the second play of the half, taking it 58 yards to continue the dominance. Brant Hayden (4-4, 71 yards, 1 TD passing) rotated in at quarterback in the third quarter, and extended the lead with a 54-yard touchdown pass to Fleming. Aledo took a 52-0 lead into the fourth quarter, and expanded on it with a 26-yard field goal by Jace Sims to bring the final score to 55-0.

“You have to be happy,” head coach Tim Buchanan said of the season so far. “Whenever you’re undefeated in district and on the season, only a knucklehead would say they’re not happy. Do we have a lot of stuff to work on? Yes. Can we continue getting better? Yes. We’re not perfect by any means. But, we’re happy.”

The Bearcats improve to 6-0 (3-0) on the season and will host the Mansfield Timberview Wolves 3-2 (2-1) at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at Bearcat Stadium for a chance to reach 100 consecutive district wins.

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