Photo: Joseph Nguyen/TexasHSFootball.com

SAGINAW, Texas-The Aledo Bearcats got their state title defense in dominating fashion Thursday, blowing out Wichita Falls Rider 72-13 in the bi-district round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs on Thursday night.

“It feels great coming out here and getting the first win.” Bearcat running back and Oklahoma commit Jase McClellan said on the win. “We got to start the playoffs out great, we came out here and played physical and played well and we just had a good game.” McClellan finished with 11 carries for 187 yards and four touchdowns.

The game started promising for Rider as quarterback Jorge Vargas threw deep to Jake Edgemon for a 47 yard gain. But two plays later, Jake McLendon took advantage of a deflected ball and intercepted a Vargas pass. The Bearcats never looked back.

Photo: Joseph Nguyen/TexasHSFootball.com

Aledo quickly drove down for a touchdown on Jake Bishop 13-yard scamper to put them up 7-0. After forcing a Rider punt, Aledo quickly scored again on a 26 yard pass from Bishop to Tre Owens. Rider would respond however.

After a 35 yard pass from Vargas to Danari Curry to set the ball at the 1-yard line, Brandon Bolton ran the ball in for the touchdown. A missed extra point kept the score at 14-6 but Aledo wasted little time in answering back. On the ensuing drive, McClellan ran through three defenders on his way to a 20 yard touchdown run and two more touchdown runs off of interceptions from McClendon and Christian Duncan to make it 35-6 at the end of the first quarter.

Aledo would add touchdown runs from McClellan and Owens respectively along with two touchdown passes from Bishop to end the half at 63-6 and lead to a second half that was mostly second team and junior varsity players getting action.

Photo: Joseph Nguyen/TexasHSFootball.com

The Raiders would score on a pass from Vargas to Edgemon in the second half but a Jo Jo Earle touchdown run and a safety would end the scoring late in the third quarter. The 72-13 win marks 22 consecutive Bi-District titles for Aledo.

“We knew that Rider had a couple good receivers.” Jake McLendon commented on the defensive mentality. “We just went out and did our jobs and the results showed.”

Wichita Falls Rider finishes their season with a 5-6 record. Aledo moves to 11-0 and will face the Grapevine Mustangs next Friday at 1 p.m. at Midlothian ISD Stadium.

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