Fast start helps Aledo roll over Canyon, into state quarterfinals

Posted Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The question in Saturday’s Class 4A Division II regional playoff game at Tiger Stadium was whether undefeated Canyon could hold Aledo under its 69-points per game scoring average.

The answer was yes, but barely.

The Bearcats rolled to a 54-14 victory against the Eagles to advance to the state quarterfinals against Wichita Falls (8-5) at a time and site to be determined.

Aledo (13-0) started quickly, just as Bearcats coach Tim Buchanan was hoping, scoring three times in the first 3:09 of the game.

Quarterback Luke Bishop took the first snap of the game 56 yards on a zone read down to the Canyon 19-yard line. Two plays later Ryan Newsome, who missed last week’s game with a tweaked ankle, carried in from 7 yards out for a 7-0 lead.

Canyon’s first offensive play was intercepted by Aledo’s Tyson Mauser. Jess Anders carried on the next play from 16 yards out for a 14-0 lead with 10:53 remaining in the first quarter.

After a punt by Canyon (12-1), Anders set up a 1-yard scoring run by Newsome with a 36-yard run and a 21-yard screen pass from Bishop.

“We really wanted to try to get off to a really good start,” Buchanan said. “The offense did a good job of it and the defense did a great job of it.”

The Aledo defense played well, especially against the run in the first half.

The Eagles gained only 27 yards rushing in the first half, but Canyon did have some success through the air with 123 yards. The Bearcats picked off three passes in the first half, however, two by Johnathan Durham.

Anders added a 2-yard touchdown run and Newsome caught a 51-yard scoring pass from Bishop sandwiched around a 31-yard field goal by Parker Shaunfield for a 37-0 lead at halftime.

“Getting off to a fast start was really pivotal,” said Newsome, who rushed for 107 yards and added 62 yards receiving. “They’re a big team physically, and they’re probably the best team we’ve played all year, to be honest.”

Buchanan said that the Canyon defense gave them problems in their passing game, but added that Bishop had one of his best games as far as running the ball.

Bishop picked up 169 yards on seven carries, mainly on long runs up the middle on zone read plays. His 53-yard touchdown run gave Aledo a 44-0 lead with 2:31 left in the third quarter.

Kicker Chance Nevarez added six more extra points to his national record for consecutive extra points to reach 191.

The Bearcats are also only 17 points away from eclipsing the national scoring record for a season held by Albemarle, N.C., with 903 set in 2001. Aledo has scored 887 points this season.

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