— By GREG WEBB
SNYDER — The Canyon Eagles’ defense got very stubborn in the third quarter against Aledo’s starting offense, holding the Bearcats to a single touchdown in the period. Unfortunately for the Eagles, Aledo had done its damage in the first half, putting 37 points on the board in the Class 4A Division II regional match at Tiger Stadium in Snyder on Saturday.
And although facing one of the better offenses it has encountered this season, the Bearcat starting defense did its part as well, pitching a shutout while on the field as Aledo handled the Eagles, 54-14.
In the other Region I contest on Saturday, Wichita Falls High School beat Canutillo High, 19-10, in Midland, setting up a quarterfinal match at a site and time to be determined.
Though Aledo enjoyed a comfortable margin by halftime, the Eagles were still battling well. Bearcats head coach Tim Buchanan was happy to see his starting offense remain in the game for the entire third quarter, a “luxury” the Aledo starters had not been able to enjoy since early in the schedule.
The fourth quarter gave way to the Aledo defensive backups as well, and Canyon finally got on the board after being shutout for three periods.
Aledo running back Jess Anders and wide receiver/quarterback Ryan Newsome provided most of Aledo’s first half fireworks.
Anders began the scoring with a 16-yard jaunt and it became evident early on that Aledo would waste little time putting points on the board. Anders added another score before the half with a 2-yard dive over the pile.
With Anders, Newsome and Aledo junior quarterback Luke Bishop biting off big chunks of yardage on the ground, the aerial game became available.
Bishop found Newsome on a hook pattern, and though closely guarded, Newsome broke free from the defgender and sprinted 51 yards to paydirt. Newsome also had touchdown runs of seven and two yards to close out the scoring in the second half.
The Aledo defense did a bit more bending than the Bearcat fans had seen this season, but they were far from pliable, with Canyon unable to sustain a drive all the way to fruition. Eagles quarterback Blake Weaver found one of his receivers deep in Bearcat territory early in the game, setting up Canyon inside the 20-yard line. But the Aledo’D” stiffened, prompting the Eagles, already down 20, to attempt a fourth-down conversion. The Eagles were stuffed and Aledo took over.
The rest of the contest was academic, as Aledo again proved to have too many weapons for the opposition. Conyon managed two late touchdowns as the Aledo bench took most of the fourth-quarter snaps.
Editor’s note: Check online at www.weatherforddemocrat.com for the complete stats of the Aledo-Canyon match.