The Aledo Bearcats debuted a new quarterback with a familiar last name, a new scoreboard and a new ornament, spit-shined no doubt, on the stadium facade marking their seventh state title — earned in 2016.
The Bearcats, though, looked like old Aledo in dismantling Colleyville Heritage 38-21 on Friday night on the back of its elite sophomore running back.
In the process of a season-opening victory, concern emerged.
Star running back Jase McClellan, already an Oklahoma commit in only his second year of high school, rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns before leaving with his left arm in a sling, the victim of what is believed to be a wrist injury.
He will be evaluated further in the coming days.
With or without him, the Bearcats appeared to have more than enough fuel to overtake the Panthers in a nondistrict game at Bearcats Stadium.
McClellan led a rushing attack that racked up 288 yards and five touchdowns.
Tre Owens took over the lead role after McClellan left early in the third quarter, rushing 12 times for 71 yards and two TDs. Quarterback Jake Bishop, the brother of two former state-winning QBs, added 57 yards on the ground and 113 passing on 9-of-13 attempts.
Heritage looked a bit rusty.
The Panthers, looking to replace QB Cam Roane, who is now at San Diego State, rotated three quarterbacks in looking for an evasive rhythm on offense.
Heritage punted on four of its first seven possessions, including three three-and-outs, and two fumbles lost, and a turnover on downs.
Much of the Panthers’ 382 total yards were put together late in the game.
Star wide receiver Kam Brown had nine catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns, both in the fourth quarter. Both were from QB Landry French.
McClellan scored the first of his two first-half touchdowns on the game’s first possession, capping an eight-play, 55-yard drive with an 11-yard run through the middle of the Panthers’ defensive front.
Late in the half, McClellan burst through the line of scrimmage, broke a tackle, and then ran away for an 18-yard score to cap an almost five-minute drive.
Jake McLendon had a fumble recovery and interception for Aledo.