The Aledo Bearcats (5-1, 4-0) wrapped up the first half of their District 5-5A, D-II slate Friday night at Burleson Stadium, routing the Burleson Elks, 57-21 in a game which saw the former build on a two-score halftime lead (29-14) with a 21-0 third quarter run.
Aledo got a plethora of contributions on the offensive end, with five different Bearcats recording a combined 299 yards on the ground while the team’s aerial attack saw another five orange and black clad players haul in at least one pass.
Junior running back JoJo Earle paced the Bearcats in the latter category, hauling in six receptions for 157 yards and another score while adding 83 yards and three TDs on 12 carries.
Teammate and fellow junior tailback Jeremiah James proved Aledo’s top rusher, finishing with 90 yards and a pair of scores on 18 carries.
Bearcats’ Head Coach Tim Buchanan praised the distribution displayed by his team’s offense both on the ground and through the air, adding that his team’s stable of runners did well in particular, stepping up with starting tailback Jase McClellan still out with injury.
“A lot of that had to do with the fact that Jase McClellan is hurt,” Buchanan said.
“So we really had three different starters at tailback, giving more guys a chance to run the football.
“And Jake Bishop has always done a good job of spreading it around as far as throwing the football.”
Burleson did what it could to keep pace with Aledo, scoring a touchdown on the game’s opening drive to go up, 7-0 with 9:20 left in the first quarter.
While the Bearcats responded with a pair of touchdowns later in the frame, as well as outscoring the Elks, 15-7 in the second quarter, the former entered the break only up two scores.
Any hope of a comeback along the Burleson sideline was quickly extinguished however, as the Bearcats blew the game open with a 21-0 third quarter run to go up, 50-14 heading into the final frame.
Buchanan said despite Burleson keeping the ball out of the hands of his own team’s offense early, an improved defensive performance by the Bearcats as the game wore on helped the latter gain momentum.
“They kept the ball a bunch in the first half, but then we started playing a little bit better defense, getting the ball back,” Buchanan said.
“That helped us a bunch there.”
The Bearcats’ defense finished with a fumble recovery (senior cornerback Collin Johnson), a sack (junior defensive end Chris Wright) and three tackles for a loss.
Aledo hosts the Cleburne Yellowjackets in a District 5-5A, D-II game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bearcat Stadium.