Aledo, the newly installed top-ranked Class 5A team in the state, can win games in any number of ways.
Against recently anointed state-ranked Mansfield Legacy on what turned out to be turnback Friday night, the Bearcats had to win it the way the 1970s would have done it.
Presented a line in the sand by the Broncos’ defensive speed and heft that preferred high-caliber collision to ankle tackles, Aledo deployed pluck in grinding out a 24-3 victory at Bearcat Stadium.
Aledo’s offense, without star running back Jase McClellan – who is out at least another couple of weeks – found enough resources to scratch out the school’s 19th consecutive victory, dating to last season’s 16-0 state-championship campaign.
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The numbers were modest. It was not the giving season for either defense.
Quarterback Jake Bishop passed for 176 yards with a touchdown and rushed for another score. Tre Owens, subbing for McClellan, had 80 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.
Aledo (2-0) could muster only 2.9 yards per rush and 290 total yards against a stout Broncos defense, the key unit to the team’s now 2-1 start.
However, the Bearcats’ defense countered Legacy, holding the Broncos to 118 total yards and a field goal, a 40-yarder that Ife Adeyi made look like a chip shot.
But that was it.
After allowing Aledo 79 yards on a game-opening touchdown drive, Legacy, quick and aggressive, got stingy. The Broncos yielded only 51 more yards the rest of the half.
It took the Bearcats until the second possession of the third quarter to figure out the Rubik’s Cube.
Starting from Legacy’s 43, Bishop capped a six-play drive with a 15-yard TD run that turned 7-3 game into an 11-point Aledo lead.
On their next drive, the Bearcats drove to Legacy’s 5-yard line in 11 plays, but were stopped on third-and-goal. Cole Daniels booted a 22-yard field goal to provide Aledo some comfort.
Wyatt Harris’ interception set up the Bearcats’ final score, a 4-yard pass from Bishop to Money Parks.
Legacy was working in quicksand.
Grant Johnson led Legacy offensively with 86 yards on 18 carries.