Below is a recap of seven major highlights of Aledo football’s 2018 season.
Aledo shuts out Guyer to open year
Aledo had the look of a team on a mission from the onset of the 2018 season, starting with its 40-0 drubbing of Class 6A opponent Denton Guyer in week one.
After missing out on a record-tying eighth state title in the previous year’s Class 5A, DII state finals, the Bearcats made it abundantly clear with their rout of the Wildcats that the team was not suffering from any previous season hangover.
Quarterback Jake Bishop connected with wideout JoJo Earle for a pair of touchdowns, while tailback Jase McClellan put up 100-plus yards and two scores on the ground while Denton Guyer gave away three picks in the one-sided affair.
The shutout proved the Wildcats’ first since 2006, while the Bearcats were only getting started.
Bearcats outduel Midlothian
Aledo’s week six matchup with Midlothian stood out as the former’s first close game (comparatively speaking) of its 2019 campaign.
After winning its first four games by margins of 40-0, 51-14, 63-16 and 52-6, Aledo’s halftime score of 21 all against Midlothian jumped off the page as an early season outlier.
That game narrative did not last long however, as the Bearcats pulled away after the half, outscoring their opponent 20-0 in the third quarter, ultimately winning, 48-29.
While the team had played with comfortable early leads in each of its four previous games, Aledo showed it could effectively close out a tied game late with its double-digit victory over the Wildcats.
Aledo closes out district play perfect
Aledo did not enjoy much time to fine-tune things ahead of district play in 2018, as the Bearcats played only two non-district games (Denton Guyer and Arkansas’ Bentonville.
Not that the black and orange needed any more tuneups.
Aledo completed a perfect 8-0 sweep in District 5-5A, DII, ending with a 49-7 rout of Arlington Seguin in week 11.
By that time, no team had even come close to knocking off the Bearcats, with Aledo’s contest against Midlothian Heritage still standing as the former’s biggest challenge from the standpoint of final score.
Bearcats open postseason with 35-point rout
Aledo’s dominance throughout the 2018 regular season did not skip a beat entering the start of playoffs.
Fresh off their 49-7 win over Arlington Seguin, the Bearcats followed up with a 48-13 rout over Seagoville in the bi-district round.
Of those 48 points, 41 came in the first half (14 in the first quarter, 27 in the second quarter) for Aledo, which pulled its starters early on in the game.
The Bearcats’ quarterbacks, starter Jake Bishop and backup Hampton Fay took center stage in the dominant win, with the former completing a whopping 92 percent of his passes for 233 yards and three scores, all of which went to the latter.
In all, Fay finished with 137 receiving yards on five receptions while completing 2-of-3 passes for 65 yards.
Defensively, Aledo held each of the Dragons’ running backs to 58 rushing yards or less, as well as limiting Seagoville quarterback Charzay Morris to 7-of-17 for 88 yards through the air.
Aledo outlasts SOC in regional semis
Arguably one of the Bearcats’ tightest games of the season, Aledo’s Class 5A, DII regional semifinals matchup with the South Oak Cliff Golden Bears proved an uncommonly close affair for Aledo.
Both teams entered the contest undefeated, with the Bearcats owning a 12-0 record while the Golden Bears entered the matchup 11-0.
The similar records translated into a game which saw Aledo hold a one-score lead after each the first (7-0) and second quarters (14-7).
However, even a stiff defensive effort by the Golden Bears nor a three-hour weather delay were able to ultimately deny the Bearcats, who pulled away in the second half, outscoring their opponent, 14-7 in the final two quarters.
In the end, Aledo earned the win despite trailing SOC in offensive yardage, 314 to 298.
Like the Midlothian Heritage game back in the regular season, Aledo showed against SOC that it did not need an early lead to put away a quality opponent.
Bearcats claim eighth state title
Unlike in 2017, Aledo would not be denied an eighth state title last year, handily defeating a 15-0 Fort Bend Marshall team which initially appeared poised to be a tough out in the Class 5A, DII state finals.
Instead, Aledo did to the Buffaloes what it had done to nearly every other opponent throughout 2018, dismantle them.
The Bearcats put up double digit points in each of the first three quarters, going up 14-6 in the first, 28-12 at the half and 48-12 after three.
Both sides of the ball looked every bit championship-caliber for Aledo, with the defense holding Marshall to 2-of-11 on third down, recovering a Marshall fumble and racking up three sacks of Buffaloes’ quarterback Malik Hornsby.
Offensively, the Bearcats dominated in time of possession, 29:22 to the Buffaloes’ 18:38, while tailback Jase McClellan ran around, past and through Marshall defenders to the tune of 147 rushing yards and three scores on 23 carries.
The win notched Aledo a record seventh state title in 10 years, while joining Richland Springs (six-man), Katy, Southlake Carroll and Celina as the only programs in Texas high school football history with eight state championships.
Aledo sees 25 players earn all-district awards
Aledo football’s immense success in 2018 continued even after the team’s dominant performance at state, with 25 Bearcats taking home honors in District 5-5A, DII.
Quarterback Jake Bishop was voted the district’s MVP, offensive lineman Cameron Callaway earned Offensive Player of the Year, defensive end Colt Ellison took home Defensive MVP honors, receiver JoJo Earle was named Newcomer of the Year and returner Tre Owens earned Utility Player of the Year.
Aledo also earned 13 first-team and seven second-team all-district selections.
Forrest Murphy covers Parker County sports for the Weatherford Democrat. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.