Heidi Dutcher/WD Sports

Aledo senior running back Jase McClellan (9) and the Bearcats (1-1) host the Burleson Centennial Spartans (2-0) in a District 5-5A, D-II game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bearcat Stadium.

The Aledo Bearcats’ 2019 non-district run came and went after a week one, 117-point shootout with Denton Guyer and a 63-0 shutout of Mexico’s UVM Linces Toulca Lynx in week two.

Aledo (1-1) now enters District 5-5A, D-II play, with a home game versus the Burleson Centennial Spartans (2-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday up next.

While the Bearcats handily defeated the Spartans last year, 63-16 (Centennial’s only district loss of the season), the latter still managed an 11-2 record while reaching the regional semifinals.

One of the Spartans’ biggest strengths heading into Friday’s game is the team’s Wishbone offense, Bearcats’ Head Coach Tim Buchanan said.

Because the Wishbone has fallen out of favor with teams in recent years, opposing defenses do not have extensive experience countering it, Buchanan added.

“We’re trying to get ready for the Wishbone defensively, and that’s a challenge,” Buchanan said.

“We’ve seen nothing but spread offenses for quite a long time now, and now we get to go play a team that lines up with, a lot of times two tight ends, two slot backs, a fullback and a quarterback that can run. It’s gonna be a heck of a challenge for us.”

With that, Aledo’s defense is coming off a dominant week two showing which saw the unit collect two interceptions and a fumble recovery in addition to racking up a dozen tackles for a loss.

While Class 6A’s Denton Guyer and the MX Dragons are two very different opponents, Buchanan said his team’s defense still did well building from weeks one to two, a trend Aledo will look to continue Friday.

The Bearcats’ offense on the other hand has had no trouble lighting up scoreboards so far this year, putting up a combined 120 points in its first two regular season games.

With tailback Jase McClellan wearing down opponents in the trenches and quarterback Jake Bishop maximizing the ability of a receiving corps including wideouts JoJo Earle, Monterren Parks and Jaedon Pellegrino, Aledo has displayed the offensive firepower necessary to win a shootout should the Spartans’ backfield of running backs Jaylon Jackson (766 rushing yards and 11 TDs in 2018), Christian Mosley (820 rushing yards and 10 TDs in 2018) and Jeff Kirven (1,029 rushing yards and 14 TDs in 2018) find a rhythm.

Buchanan said the Bearcats must be meticulous in their preparation during practice and translate that onto the field Friday facing off against a quality opponent like Centennial.

“They’re really good on offense and good on defense,” Buchanan said.

“We better have our A game on Friday.”

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