Cedar Park claimed the top-spot in Class 5A with an impressive 31-13 win over an Aledo team that entered the season as the top-ranked team and has won five of the last six state championships. It was Carl Asbseck’s first game as head coach, as he took over for Joe Willis this summer.
The Timberwolves are no stranger to being a favorite to win a state title. Cedar Park was minutes away from claiming last season’s Class 5A Division II state championship before a last-minute drive by Ennis in Arlington. But the Timberwolves made a statement with a win over one of the power programs in the state and sent a message to the rest of the state that quality football is played outside of the Dallas area.
Westlake did the same thing by beating Southlake Carroll in exciting fashion, but it was Cedar Park who arguably notched the biggest win of the week in a game that involved two Texas high school teams.
Both offenses started slowly, as Aledo went into halftime with a 7-3 lead. Cedar Park, as it is known to do, took over in the second half behind a stout defense and explosive plays on offense. The Timberwolves outscored Aledo 28-6 in the second half, scoring 17 straight points at one time to take the game and leave Week 1 as the team to beat in Class 5A.
There were questions surrounding Cedar Park entering the season. Not only did the Timberwolves need to replace a head coach and seven assistant coaches, but it also needed to replace Thomas Hutchings and many seniors that helped lead the charge last season. Cedar Park found its answer on offense when Jay Guidry took a carry 90 yards for a touchdown. The Timberwolves added two more rushing touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown to take all the momentum in the game.
While the offense was impressive in the second half, even with a backup quarterback, it was the defense that proved why Cedar Park will be a tough team for any program. Aledo, admittedly, lost a lot of production from last season, but holding a program known for a powerhouse running game to just 13 points was impressive. The Timberwolves controlled the line of scrimmage on defense, forcing Aledo into passing downs.
Cedar Park is in one of the toughest districts in the state. Vandegrift is another contender for a state title. The Timberwolves always try to test themselves in non-district play, and unlike in last year’s loss to Aledo, Cedar Park passed with flying colors.