AUSTIN- Despite missing starting QB Matthew Bishop the Aledo Bearcats (15-1) won their second state championship in school history with a 35-21 win over Brenham (12-3) Saturday at DKR Memorial Texas Stadium.
Once again Johnathan Gray the sophomore sensation for AHS stole the show with 252 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns including the game clincher from 89 yards out with little more than two minutes remaining.
Brenham was led by their receiving duo of Derek Edwards and Terrell Reese who combined for 9 receptions 195 yards and two touchdowns.
Aledo jumped on top early 14-0 as they dominated field position early. Brenham got a quick three and out to start things off but on their second offensive play Troy Green fumbled and sophomore LB Brady Lambert recovered giving Aledo the ball at the Brenham 25. Two plays later Gray cashed in on a 21 yard run giving the Bearcats a 7-0 edge.
After a quick three and out and a short punt Aledo took over in Brenham territory and quickly added to the lead with Gray scoring on a 25 yard run through a gaping hole on the right side and a 14-0 edge.
Being down fourteen didn't phase Brenham as the Cubs had been in this position before and Brenham had an answer. The Cubs went on an impressive drive set up by a 46 yard by Green and Reese would cut the lead in half with a sensational 30 yard touchdown reception from Ty Schlottman. Reese leaped above two defenders and snagged the ball falling back to make it 14-7.
Brenham then pulled a rabbit out of the hat executing an onside kick to perfection as Aledo was caught sleeping. The Cubs were quick to tie the game as Schlottman found a wide open Emon Smith for a four yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 14.
Aledo would jump back ahead late in the second quarter as Gray scored from 36 yards out as once again Gray found clear sailing on the right side. The Bearcats would hold Brenham before halftime to take a 21-14 lead at halftime.
The third quarter would settle into a defensive struggle as neither offense was able to get much going. However Aledo would extend the lead to fourteen points early in the fourth as backup QB Trey Ozee went 26 yards untouched on a zone read making it 28-14.
Brenham was down but not out and following the script of a previous playoff win when Schlottman hobbled off the field with an ankle injury backup QB Michael Buro calmly stepped in and tossed a 33 yard touchdown pass to Edwards cutting the Aledo lead to 28-21 and giving the Cubs serious momentum.
Brenham's defense held their end of the bargain forcing an Aledo punt and the Cubs were poised to tie the game up marching all the way down to the Aledo nine.
Aledo's defense would step up and make the play of the day stopping Green stone cold on a fourth and one. This momentum swing would set up Gray's sensational 89 yard touchdown run to put the state title on ice for the Bearcats.
Brenham for the second time this decade fell in the title game losing in 2003 to Denton Ryan.