Aledo tossed a wet blanket on the upset prospects Grapevine carried into Rough Rider Stadium by burying the Mustangs in an avalanche of big plays in the opening minutes of a 51-7 Class 5A Division II Region I area round victory on a chilly Friday night.
Aledo running back Donnie Evans took a handoff 85 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play and added an 87-yard score off a screen pass on the team’s third drive, while linebacker Colt Ellison returned a fumble 31 yards on Grapevine’s opening possession during the Bearcats’ initial blitz that flattened Grapevine.
Evans finished with 128 yards on five carries for 12-0 Aledo, seeking its seventh state title and sixth in the last eight years.
The state’s top-ranked Class 5A team easily advanced to the regional round to play Abilene Cooper next Friday in Abilene.
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The Bearcats also had two other touchdowns of 70 yards or more. Logan Bridges hauled in an 80-yard TD pass from Dillon Davis, and Michael Jordan ran 70 yards for another.
Freshman running back Jase McClellan, who had 59 yards on 16 carries, added a 25-yard TD run, and kicker Quinn Davis had three field goals of 35, 25 and 41 yards for Aledo, which finished with 597 total yards. Jordan rushed 10 times for 96 yards.
The Mustangs finished the season 10-2, including groundbreaking victories over arch-rival Colleyville Heritage and a bi-district triumph over Fort Worth Southwest, the program’s first in 10 years.
At moments it appeared a different game might emerge.
Grapevine returned the kickoff off Aledo’s initial score for a touchdown, but it was called back by a penalty. The Mustangs were also to sustain drives in the first half, but except for one came away with nothing.
Zach Carnes’ 7-yard touchdown reception, capping a 10-play drive, appeared to curb Aledo’s momentum, cutting the Bearcats’ lead to 17-7.
Grapevine then pushed the Bearcats into third-and-18 from Aledo’s 14. But the Bearcats struck back and big again.
Evans took a screen pass from Dillon Davis and didn’t stop, going 86 yards for a backbreaking touchdown and 24-7 lead.
Davis finished 10 for 19 for 298 yards. Bridges was his top target, finishing with five catches for 162 yards.
Grapevine was held to 207 yards of offense, including 66 in the second half. The Mustangs had 17 yards rushing on 16 attempts.
Quarterback Alan Bowman was 24 for 44 for 190 yards for the Mustangs. Carnes had 10 receptions for 81 yards.