ARLINGTON – Corpus Christi Calallen head coach Phil Danaher may have 432 wins to his name, but the ever-elusive state championship will have to wait another year, as Aledo defeated Calallen, 24-16.
Aledo running back Rhett Harris put the Bearcats on the board early with a 5-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter.
Both teams would exchange field goals in the second quarter, giving Aledo a 10-3 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
After forcing the Calallen Wildcats to punt on their opening drive of the second half, freshman running back Jase McClellan rumbled down the field 59 yards for a rushing touchdown, giving Aledo a commanding 17-3 lead.
Calallen responded immediately on a 33-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Gaige Lamb, bringing the Wildcats to within a score. On the ensuing kickoff, Aledo would fumble the ball right back to Calallen, but the Wildcats couldn’t capitalize on the turnover.
Aledo held onto a 17-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats would force Aledo to punt early in the fourth quarter, but Calallen muffed the kick, allowing Aledo to recover and start a new possession.
A 3-yard touchdown run by Donnie Evans gave Aledo a two touchdown lead with just over five minutes remaining, before Calallen tacked on more score to give us a 24-16 final.
Even in defeat, Coach Danaher was proud of the way his kids fought all game despite their mistakes.
“We just did not execute in key times,” Danaher said. “They played their heart out. Some of the mistakes they made, they were just wanting to come off the ball so hard that they were eager and jumped early.”
Though Aledo came into Friday night’s game as a heavy favorite, head coach Steve Wood knew that they were just a few plays away from an upset.
“Those boys came to play over there,” Wood said. “They are the real deal. We’re very fortunate to have won this football game and I don’t want to take anything away from them.”