The Aledo Bearcats dominated the special teams battle to cruise to a 56-20 win over Cleburne and improve to 7-0 on the season on Friday.
Aledo (5-0 in District 5-5A Division II) controlled the game through its dominance in field position throughout contest. The Bearcats started a drive on Cleburne’s side of the field five times, including four times inside the Jackets’ 30-yard line and twice inside the 15.
Meanwhile, Cleburne’s average starting field position was at the 20-yard line. The best starting field position all night for the Jackets (5-2, 3-2) was their own 25-yard line.
Playing on the muddy natural grass at Yellow Jacket Stadium, the Bearcats rushed for 240 total yards and recorded 23 first downs.
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Game was over when: A special teams miscue by Cleburne set Aledo up with a first-and-goal at the two-yard line right before halftime. Two plays later, Aledo running back Jase McClellan scored on a three-yard run to give the Bearcats a 27-7 lead with 1:04 left until halftime.
Play of the game: In a losing effort, it was Cleburne senior defensive end Gibson Beyer with the play of the game. On third-and-17, Aledo tried a screen pass but Beyer sniffed it out, picked it off and returned it 11 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 late in the first quarter.
Offensive player of the game: Aledo’s backfield duo of Jase McClellan and Avery Jackson. McClellan scored four rushing touchdowns, including three in the second quarter when the Bearcats pulled away. McClellan finished with 76 rushing yards on 17 attempts. In the second half, Jackson was a workhorse for the Bearcats with 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
Defensive player of the game: Aledo defensive end Colt Ellison made several plays in the Yellow Jacket backfield in the first half, including a sack on third-and-7 that dropped Cleburne for a loss of 11 yards.
Unsung hero of the game: Aledo returner Tre Owens flipped field position nearly every time he fielded a punt. He had a 68-yard touchdown return called back on a penalty, but he later returned a punt 57 yards to set up a Bearcat score to give Aledo a 21-7 lead.
What’s next? Cleburne visits Everman as the Jackets look to snap a two-game losing streak while Aledo hosts Waco University.