More than just the wind was in Aledo’s face early in the gridiron match on a blustery, sunshine-splashed day on Friday, as the Denton Guyer Wildcats struck the first blows and jumped off to a fast start in the Class 4A, Division I Area round match at Northwest ISD Stadium on Friday.
With the first down Aledo achieved on its second offensive play of the game, few knew that would be the last new set of downs the Bearcats would earn in the entire first quarter of play. The opening period eventually proved fatal for Aledo’s 2012 climb up the familiar playoff brackets, as Guyer posted three touchdowns in the span, en route to a 42-30 win.
“I am proud of our kids,” said Aledo head coach Tim Buchanan, “the way they kept fighting to get back into the game.
“You just can’t spot a good team like [Guyer] that many points and expect to win.”
The loss ended a run of 19 consecutive playoff wins by the Bearcats, dating back to November of 2008.
Wildcats quarterback Jerrod Heard was easily the Bearcats’ most prolific nemesis of the game as the speedy junior ran for more than 120 yards during the match, while also completing 80 percent of his passes for 147 yards. Heard had three rushing touchdowns and threw for another, finding Josh Harris, who covered 90 yards with just three receptions on the day.
Needing all the elements against a pumped-up Guyer team, Aledo unfortunately found itself without a starting defensive back even before the first kickoff and lost an offensive lineman on the first series. But early mistakes set the real tone for the opening half, as Aledo had just a half-dozen offensive possessions before the break, with four first downs.
The Bearcats finally broke the ice in the second quarter, when Pate Davis, who had four TD tosses in the game, found wideout Willie Gibson for a 15-yard strike.
Guyer held the Bearcats normally ball-hogging run game to 110 yards, forcing Aledo to go to the air 30 times in the game. For the first time in a long time, the Bearcats had no rushing TDs.
Aledo finishes its 2012 campaign with a 10-2 overall record and for the first time in four years will not be a defending state champion as it enters a new football season.
Denton Guyer, also with a 10-2 overall mark, advances to the Region I quarterfinal against the winner of the match between El Paso Chapin and Amarillo High, who played on Saturday after press time.