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Sports

Bearcats crush Hillcrest in Bi-District

Jalen Pope crosses the goal line for a touchdown in the first quarter against Dallas Hillcrest. Photo by Kristin Morales.

By Nolan Ruth
The Community News

For the 26th consecutive time, the Aledo Bearcats are Bi-District Champions and will play in the Area round. The team accomplished the feat at home by dismantling the Dallas Hillcrest Panthers 77-0.

“It’s really cool to know that we get to play next week,” quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi said about the win. “It’s a really great opportunity and we’re extremely blessed. Moving forward we just have to focus on the next team we play and go week by week.”

Not only did Aledo get the win, but all the seniors got to play one extra game at Bearcat Stadium before graduation.

“I didn’t really want to think about it,” senior defensive end Jack Tregellas said about his final game at Bearcat Stadium. “It’s just another game. I didn’t want to think that it was all going to be the last time. It’s bittersweet, but at the same time we won a playoff game.”

BJ Allen (7) and Sammy Steffe (26) pressure a Hillcrest ball carrier. Photo by Kristin Morales.

The Bearcats got off to a fast start, as Nicolosi (9-11, 230 yards, 3 TDs) hit Jalen Pope (3 receptions, 74 yards, 1 TD) over the middle for a 56-yard score. Three plays into the first drive for Hillcrest, Davhon Keys (2 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD) intercepted a pass at the Panther 13 yard line and strolled in for the score to make it 14-0 quickly.

After forcing a punt, Ryan Williams (5 carries, 61 yards, 2 TDs rushing, 1 reception, 40 yards, 1 TD receiving) got into the end zone from eight yards out, making it a three-score ballgame. Sammy Steffe (6 carries, 48 yards, 2 TDs) followed suit on the next drive with a 15-yard touchdown run, bringing the score to 28-0 at the end of the first quarter.

On the first play of the second quarter, Nicolosi dumped a pass off to Williams, who raced 52 yards untouched to paydirt. After forcing another three-and-out, Nicolosi got his third touchdown pass to BJ Fleming (4 receptions, 98 yards, 1 TD) for a one-play, 29-yard drive. The stout Bearcat defense once again stopped the Panthers in just three plays, getting the ball back. Steffe got another touchdown four plays later from two yards out, making it 49-0.

Andrew Parkhurst (27) celebrates his interception and touchdown with teammate Sawyer Storck (24). Photo by Kristin Morales.

Hillcrest finally got a first down midway through the second quarter, but the drive stalled. Williams scored from 44 yards out on the third play of the ensuing drive, bringing it to 56-0. It appeared that would be it for the first half, but with 19 seconds left, Andrew Parkhurst (3 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD) picked off a pass at the Panther 45 and took it into the end zone with little resistance. The score after one half of football was 63-0.

The Aledo starters were all pulled in the second half. The team started rotating people in, including a few players off of the squad team roster. It appeared the Panthers were going to score in the first drive of the second half, but the drive stalled at the Aledo seven yard line. The offense immediately drove down the field and scored on a nine-yard pass from Brant Hayden (4-4, 76 yards, 1 TD) to Jason Llewellyn (2 catches, 27 yards, 1 TD), bringing the score to 70-0 at the end of three quarters of play.

The Bearcats got the ball back and at the start of the fourth quarter, the offense went on another long drive capped off by a ten yard scoring run by Ryan Cox (7 carries, 99 yards, 1 TD), bringing the final tally to 77-0 after stopping the Panthers one last time.

“Any time you get young kids in, it’s pretty neat,” head coach Tim Buchanan said about the experience gained. “We had 161 kids eligible to play, we got probably 90 of them in. It’s good to get them in and let them play at this level.”

The Bearcats are now 11-0 on the year and advance to the Area round of the playoffs where they await the winner of Frisco Liberty vs. Forney at a time and place to be determined.

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