Aledo forced six turnovers and rushed for 388 yards and six touchdowns as the Bearcats ground out a 45-30 victory over Grapevine in a Class 5A Division II Area playoff game Friday afternoon at Midlothian ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium.
Aledo (12-0), last year’s 5A Division II state champion, won its 28th consecutive game and will meet El Paso Eastlake or Abilene Cooper next. Grapevine finishes its season at 9-3.
Sophomore Jase McClellan was the Aledo workhouse, rushing 28 times for 243 yards and three scores. Tre Owens added another 88 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
Aledo rushed the ball 39 more times (55-16) than Grapevine. The Mustangs threw the ball 59 times while Aledo needed just eight passes the entire game and none after its first possession of the second half.
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“Our offensive line was playing well and our backs were going hard,” said Aledo coach Steve Wood. “We just wanted to be physical and punch it in.”
Aledo didn’t exactly shut down Grapevine quarterback Alan Bowman, who came into the game as the area’s leading passer, with over 3,000 yards. Bowman completed 38 passes for 445 yards and four touchdowns, but he also turned the ball over six times.
The Bearcats forced a Grapevine turnover on the Mustangs’ first four possessions as Aledo built a 28-0 lead.
“They came ready to play,” said Wood of Grapevine. “They really came after us in the second half when a lot of teams would have quit.”
Several Grapevine receivers put up strong stats as the Mustangs tried repeatedly to rally after intermission. Jordan Brooks-Wess finished with 11 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown, while David Clayton caught 15 passes for 121 yards and two scores. Alex Vergara added eight receptions for 72 yards and a score.
The teams’ contrasting styles of play came into sharp focus in the last half of the third quarter.
Grapevine had just scored the first points of the second half to pull within 28-14 when Aledo responded with a 12-play, 74-yard drive that took 5:08 off the clock. All 12 plays were rushes, with Owens scoring from the 1-yard line.
Grapevine answered with a scoring drive of its own, but it took just 59 seconds and four plays to go 82 yards. The touchdown came on a 70-yard pass from Bowman to Brooks-Wess, making the score 35-21 entering the fourth quarter.