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Former Bearcat shines in loss

Fowler-Nicolosi leads near upset


Former Aledo Bearcat quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi is used to big moments, such as when he led Aledo to a Class 5A Division II state championship in 2020.

And he was clearly not intimidated when he took to the biggest stage of his career this past Saturday night in Boulder, Colorado. Fowler-Nicolosi led the Colorado State Rams to a near upset of the No. 19 University of Colorado Buffaloes in a nationally televised game on ESPN before the Buffaloes prevailed in double overtime 43-35.

Fowler-Nicolosi completed 34 of 47 passes for 367 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. One of the interceptions came on a desperation throw into the end zone in the second overtime and another resulted in an 80-yard return for a TD after the Rams had driven deep into Colorado territory.

Fowler-Nicolosi held his own with heralded Buffs quarterback Shedeur Sanders, a Heisman Trophy Candidate, who was 38-of-47 for 348 yards with four TD and one interception. The Aledo alum had the Rams (0-2) in prime position for the upset as they led 28-17 in the fourth quarter before the Buffs staged a late rally.

Fowler-Nicolosi also answered a Buffs touchdown on their first possession of the first overtime by throwing his third TD pass of the night.

“I stayed up until 1:30. I was invested in it. You take away those penalties against Colorado State and it’s a different story,” Aledo head coach Robby Jones said.

Jones was the offensive coordinator when Fowler-Nicolosi was quarterbacking the Bearcats.

Jones was referencing a plethora of penalties - particularly personal fouls - that negated some great plays by Fowler-Nicolosi and the Rams. This included him running in for a touchdown in the second overtime.

“I sent him a text the next day and told him I was proud of him,” Jones said. “They went to-to-toe with a top-20 team.”

The game was the second college start for Fowler-Nicolosi. As a freshman he started and played the entire game against Nevada last season in a 17-14 victory, completing 11 of 22 passes for 78 yards with two interceptions.

He finished his freshman season completing 17 of 37 passes for 194 yards with two TD and one interception. His first college touchdown was to a familiar target, Tory Horton, against Middle Tennessee State in a 34-19 loss.

Fowler-Nicolosi and Horton connected 16 times against Colorado for 133 yards and a touchdown.

Fowler-Nicolosi came into the game against Washington State in the season opener following an injury to Rams starting quarterback Clay Millen. Fowler-Nicolosi completed 13 of 20 passes for 210 yards with two TD and one interception in a 50-24 loss to the No. 21 Cougars.

For the season Fowler-Nicolosi has completed 47 of 67 passes (70%) for 577 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. 

At Aledo, Fowler-Nicolosi, who moved in from California, led the Bearcats to a 12-1 record and a berth in the third round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs, falling 33-28 to eventual state champion Dallas South Oak Cliff. He completed 67% of his passes for 2,051 yards with 24 touchdowns and only one interception.


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