Jase McClellan rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns and also hauled in a touchdown reception to lead Aledo past Richland 43-7 in a 5A Division II quarterfinal game Saturday at the Ford Center in Frisco.
Aledo (14-0) advances to the state semifinals against Mansfield Legacy on Dec. 16.
“Our game plan was a lot of me and Jase running,” said Bearcats quarterback Jake Bishop, who passed for 72 yards and three touchdowns. “They forced us to adjust, and we had to throw the ball a little bit, so we did.”
The Bearcats’ explosive offense was supported by a barrage of big plays by the Aledo defense. Locked in a 7-7 game in the early stages of the second quarter, the Aledo defense stuffed Richland quarterback Drew Trent on a fake punt attempt at his own 44. The Bearcats scored seven plays later on a 15-yard toss from Bishop to a wide-open McClellan for a 14-7 lead.
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On the ensuing Richland (11-3) drive, safety Wyatt Harris recovered a fumble at the Rebels 27. That set the stage for another Bearcats scoring drive. Aledo faced third-and-24 from the Richland 31 when Bishop lofted a pass to a sprinting Beau Mask in the end zone. That made it 21-7 with 5:31 to go in the second quarter.
Aledo’s defense wasn’t done setting up the Bearcats offense. Aaron Hale intercepted a Richland pass in Rebels territory on the fourth play of the ensuing Richland drive. McClellan then rushed four times for 28 yards, including a drive-capping 1-yard score to up the lead to 27-7 with 2:30 remaining in the first half. He added a five-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter. The Bearcats outscored Richland 20-0 in the second quarter and scored the game’s final 43 points.
“They ran some new plays we hadn’t seen,” said Aledo coach Steve Wood, whose squad gave up a 75-yard scoring drive on the game’s first drive and only 70 yards the rest of the way. “We adjusted.”
The Bearcats adjusted to the tune of only 145 total yards surrendered and four forced turnovers. Meanwhile, Aledo’s offense rolled up 326 yards and 19 first downs.
Kenneth Reeves II reached high to corral a 30-yard pass from Trent early in the first quarter for the game’s first score. Aledo fumbled on its first drive, but tied the game later in the first quarter on a 69-yard run by McClellan.