High School Football

Dominant performance from Aledo sends Bearcats to 8th state final in 10 years

MUST WATCH: Tre Owens 1-handed INT returned 103 yards for TD

Aledo's Tre Owens picked off a 4th down pass from Wichita Falls Rider quarterback Jacob Rodriguez and returned it 103 yards to give the Bearcats a 42-0 halftime lead in a 5A state semifinals game at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 14, 2018.
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Aledo's Tre Owens picked off a 4th down pass from Wichita Falls Rider quarterback Jacob Rodriguez and returned it 103 yards to give the Bearcats a 42-0 halftime lead in a 5A state semifinals game at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 14, 2018.

The last time Aledo played at AT&T Stadium, it didn’t end well for the Bearcats.

Aledo scored 19 points in a loss to College Station in the Class 5A Division II state final last December.

Oklahoma commit Jase McClellan and the Bearcats managed to outscore that mark in less than half a quarter against Wichita Falls Rider on Friday, but more importantly, they’re one win away from being back on top.

The Bearcats scored six touchdowns in the first half and had little trouble against the Raiders in a 63-7 victory in the 5A Division II semifinals.

“They came ready to play and dominated from start to finish,” Aledo coach Steve Wood said. “Rider is a good football team and our kids took that challenge and I’m as proud as can be.”

Aledo (15-0), which is ranked as the No. 1 5A team in the state, advances to its third-straight state final and eighth in the past 10 years to take on No. 4 Fort Bend Marshall (15-0) at 7 p.m. on Dec. 21 back at Jerry’s World.

“It’s truly hard to believe. We’re very fortunate,” Wood said. “There’s a lot of great coaches out there who don’t get this kind of opportunity. This is a special place to be.”

The 5-star McClellan, who’s nearing 2,000 yards rushing on the season, scored his first of three first-half TDs from the 1 with 9:45 to go in the opening quarter, which was set up by a 50-yard kickoff return by Demarco Roberts.

Five-star running back recruit Jase McClellan scores from 1-yard out for Aledo in a Class 5A playoff game against Wichita Falls Rider at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 14, 2018.

Following a three-and-out on Rider’s first possession, senior Tre Owens took a punt back 43 yards to give Aledo a 14-0 lead less than two minutes later. He added a school-record 103-yard pick-six as time expired that ended the first half as the Bearcats went to the lockers up 42-0. They came in with three touchdown returns on the season and Owens gave them two in the first half.

“We were in man coverage and I saw the tight end sneak out and I just had to jump up and make a play,” Owens said. “When I first caught it, it didn’t feel real and all I could think of was don’t get tackled.”

“Tre Owens is a special player. He never has a bad day and always has a smile on his face,” Wood added. “They messed around and punted one to him and he loves it. We had a kid return an interception for a school-record 99 yards earlier in the year and he just got it broke.”

Things got worse for Rider already trailing 14-0 when it committed the first of three turnovers in the first half. TCU commit Wyatt Harris picked off a pass attempt and Jake Bishop capped it off two plays later with a 7-yard TD pass to Devan Daugherty with 6:45 in the first.

TCU linebacker commit Wyatt Harris with an interception for Aledo in a Class 5A state playoff game against Wichita Falls Rider at AT&T Stadium on Dec. 14, 2018.

McClellan added his second 1-yard TD run to make it 28-0 with 10:47 to play in the second quarter.

Rider (9-6) finally forced Aledo to punt for the first time midway through the period, but one play later Logan Thurman jarred the ball loose and Oliver Crow recovered for the Bearcats.

McClellan, who finished with 15 carries for 130 yards, scored his third TD from the 2 to make it 35-0 with 5:11 in the period.

Bishop threw his second TD from 30 yards to a wide-open Mylen Hayhurst to push Aledo’s lead to 49-0 early in the third.

Roberts recorded Aledo’s third interception of the night and it took four plays for the Bearcats to extend the rout to 56-0 with a 5-yard TD run by Ryan Anderson with 5:06 left in the quarter.

The Raiders finally hit the scoreboard with a 15-yard TD run by Tre Byrd three minutes later. They finished with 281 yards of offense.

Aledo, which will attempt to win a UIL record-tying eighth state football title, gained 331 yards. The Bearcats rushed for 249 yards.

Devin Daugherty makes a diving touchdown catch on a pass thrown by Jake Bishop to extend Aledo's lead over Wichita Falls Rider in the first half of a Class 5A state playoff game on Dec. 14, 2018.

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