Aledo BearcatsIt was really no surprise that the Class 4A No.1 Aledo Bearcats defeated Azle, 73-0, in a District 5-4A contest Friday night at Azle.
Aledo all-state running back Johnathan Gray had his usual productive game with 183 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns, and a Bearcats' 40-0 lead at the half also did not raise eyebrows.
But the Bearcat offense did show another side that may give future opposing defensive coordinators some sleepless nights as junior quarterback Matt Bishop connected on long touchdown passes of 45, 58, 40 and 39 yards, the latter to new varsity receiver Willie Gibson, a sophomore who was called up to varsity this week.
Bishop's TD passes all came in the 40-point first half. He started off the evening by connecting with junior receiver Todd Christian for a 45-yard score in the first quarter, and later in the period completed a 58-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Justin Breshears.
In a what seemed like a flashback from last year, junior receiver Michael Mann split zone coverage and caught Bishop's aerial on the fly for a 40-yard TD. Mann's first varsity game came last year at Azle, when he caught a 45-yard bomb from Bishop and scored in the same end zone as he did on Friday.
Bishop's final TD pass was a long, towering toss to a streaking Gibson, who beat a single defender and caught the pass on the run to complete a 39-yard pass play for six points.
Gray scored on touchdown runs of one, 10, 23, 26 and 18 yards. In the second half, junior running back Ben Jopling capped long drives with TD jaunts of four and 21 yards, the last of which gave the Bearcats a 67-0 lead.
The Aledo defense also played a huge role in setting up the offense. Senior defensive back Rob Blowers had a pair of interceptions that led to Aledo touchdowns.
And the Bearcats final score came on a 60-yard interception return to the end zone by senior defensive back Cameron Cunningham.
For the complete story, and for comments by players and coaches, see the Oct. 29 issue of The Community News.