BEDFORD, Texas — On Friday from iconic Pennington Field, Aledo High School earned a 28-21 victory against Mansfield Legacy for the 5A DII Semifinal and a trip to AT&T Stadium for a chance at a state title.
“It’s an honor to go back to the state championship,” senior defensive tackle James Williams spoke about returning to the title game. “Games like these, I tell the defense to keep their composure and we worked really hard to get back here and it paid off. But we’re not done, we have one more game to end the season right.”
Legacy built momentum early after Aledo drove down the field to start the game and its missed field goal was returned by Jalen Catalon to the Bearcat 2-yard line.
Two plays later Enoch Jackson punched it in to give Legacy the early 7-0 lead. Aledo would respond on the next series, as Jase McClellan led the way for the Bearcat offense and scored on a 5-yard run.
Legacy caught a break after its defense blocked a field goal at the Legacy 14-yard line and when Catalon took it 86 yards for a Bronco touchdown to retake the lead 14-7.
And After a bad snap on a Bearcat punt, Legacy got in the end zone again as Catalon hit Ife Adeyi from 37 yards out to take a 21-7 lead. Aledo rallied back, though, using McClellan to take the reigns, score a touchdown, and whittle the Legacy lead to seven points.
“We had to relax,” quarterback Jake Bishop commented on the halftime adjustments. “We played pretty bad in the first half. But we knew if we just played our game, we would come out on top.”
Legacy got the ball to start the second half but went three and out and Aledo quickly took advantage. Jake Bishop took a keeper 29 yards to tie the game at 21.
Both defenses made defensive stands during the third and fourth quarters until Jase McClellan took it 46 yards for a Bearcat touchdown to take a 28-21 lead with 1:39 left in the game. Legacy, which had one last shot to tie the game and force overtime, failed to pick up a fourth down and gave the ball back to Aledo.
The Bearcats earned a place in their seventh state title game since 2009.
“We have to be more physical and make better plays,” Jase McClellan commented on the second half effort and the game-winning touchdown. “My offensive line was physical on that last play, they made a hole for me and I just ran through it and made a play.”
Mansfield Legacy ended its season with a record of 12-3 while Aledo improved to 15-0 and looks to cap off a perfect season in a state championship at 11 a.m Saturday at AT&T Stadium against either Austin McCallum or College Station.
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