Heidi Dutcher/WD Sports

Aledo senior running back Jase McClellan (9) and the Bearcats (2-1, 1-0) return from their bye for a road matchup with District 5-5A, D-II opponent Everman (1-3, 1-1) Friday. Aledo defeated Everman, 52-6 in 2018.

Fresh off the team’s bye week, the Aledo Bearcats (2-1, 1-0) return to action for a District 5-5A, D-II contest with the Everman Bulldogs (1-3, 1-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at J. E. Marr Stadium.

The two teams enter Friday in notably different situations.

Aledo, after falling in a 60-57 shootout with Class 6A’s Denton Guyer in week one, has done well rebounding, putting up back-to-back 63 point performances in weeks two and three (Linces UVM and Burleson Centennial, respectively) while notching three turnovers in each of those above two contests.

In contrast, Everman is reeling from a slow start which has seen the team score less than 15 points in three of its first four games, most recently a 26-14 loss to district opponent Burleson Centennial.

Perhaps one of the few similarities between the squads comes in terms of starting experience on the defensive side.

Aledo returned three 2018 starters on defense this season, while Everman returned just one.

However, Bearcats’ Head Coach Tim Buchanan was quick to stress that the Bulldogs’ defensive unit remains a talented group that cannot be taken lightly.

“They are kind of like us, they replaced a bunch of kids, but they are plenty good on defense,” Buchanan said.

“They run to the ball well. We’re hoping to take advantage of their inexperience, just like they’re hoping to take advantage of ours.”

One of Everman’s greatest strengths is the team’s offensive line, Buchanan said, a unit which enters Friday owning a notable size advantage up front which could lend to a strong ground game.

“Their offensive line is a lot bigger than us,” Buchanan said.

“Our heaviest kid on the D-line is 240 pounds, so we give up a lot of size. So we expect them to try and run the ball at us. And when they have some success running at us and we have to do things to adjust to that, then they’re gonna try to hit us throwing the ball over on the edge. 

“We’ve gotta come up with a plan to stop the run game.”

Running behind that O-line of the Bulldogs will be tailback Jyden Hollie, who finished with 1,156 rushing yards and 10 TDs  last season.

Coupled with quarterback Juan Davis, who proved a versatile threat (546 receiving yards and seven TDs) last year, Everman owns a capable attack that cannot be overlooked, Buchanan said.

“Their quarterback is a big, strong athlete,” Buchanan said.

“He’s hard to tackle, and then their running back is the same way.”

With that said, the Bearcats enjoyed a productive off week, and are ready to put that hard work in practice to use Friday, Buchanan said.

“We got a lot of good work done as far as fundamentals,” Buchanan said.

“We had a good week.”

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