Roberts, Earle lead Aledo to record 10th state championship

By Tommy Hays

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All it took was a moment of improv to bring out Aledo’s championship prowess.

Crobsy (12-4) and the Bearcats (13-1) exchanged touchdowns on their first two drives. The Cougars stopped Aledo on its third possession to get the ball back just before the end of the first quarter, a much-needed defensive response after going three-and-out.

On fourth down, Aledo punter Clay Murador found the Crosby punt block unit in his face when he received the ball. The sophomore tucked it and bolted down the left side for a 21-yard gain and a first down.

The conversion kept the drive alive, allowing Aledo to eventually take its first lead of the game on a five-yard run from DeMarco Roberts. That score sparked a 42-0 scoring run resulting in a 56-21 win over Crosby in the 5A DII championship.

“People don’t realize (Murador) is the fastest kid at Aledo high school,” Aledo head coach Tim Buchanan revealed after the game. “…What we talked about is if he saw the rush coming and he did not feel that he could get the punt off, that he should take it and run to the left side because that was the side that we could expose what they were doing.”

Consider that plan followed to perfection.

The Bearcats became the first-ever UIL program to win 10 state titles Friday inside AT&T Stadium.

“The biggest thing is that it didn’t start tonight,” Buchanan said. “It started back in 1993 and when you look at the people who were the foundation of what we’ve done. Those guys, they didn’t get any rings or medals or anything like that.

“And we don’t do what we’ve done without Steve Woods and Robby Jones. That’s what makes this so special.”

The drive was capped off by DeMarco Roberts, who scored six of Aledo’s eight touchdowns on the day and was named the game’s Offensive MVP. Roberts amassed 254 yards on the ground combining with star and future Alabama wideout wideout JoJo Earle’s 224 total yards to gash an athletic Crosby defense.

“It’s hard to simulate guys who can run like Crosby,” Buchanan said. “(Reggie Branch) and (Deniquez Dunn) are fast football players. They’re really good football players and they’re a really good football team so it took us a little while to get used to the speed of the game.”

Aledo’s defense held a Cougar offense that averaged 52 points per game in the playoffs to just 21.

“Being a senior, this whole week could be the fastest and slowest week I’ve ever lived but as a senior it just means more,” senior defensive lineman Caden Anderson said. “Starting in the state game last year, it was fun it was cool, but it doesn’t mean near as much as it did this year.”

Both Dunn and Branch combined for over 400 yards of total offense and scored all three of the Cougars’ touchdowns through the air and on the ground. It was Crosby’s first title game appearance since 1960 as a 1A program.

“These kids brought a community together,” Crosby head coach Jerry Prieto said. “They brought a community together in times of turmoil for our country when we have a whole lot of adults who can’t get it right, who don’t understand how to bring unity together and this football team did. Our community had been hurting for a while and these kids brought it back together.”

Looking for a place to stay for the game? Check out Live! by Loews

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP HUB

 

Score by Quarters  Score 
Crosby   14  0  0  7  21 
Aledo   14  21  7  14  56 

 

SCORING SUMMARY   CROSBY -ALEDO  
1st  09:00  CROSBY   Jaylen Herman 9 yd pass from Deniquez Dunn (Trevor Helburg kick) 
         11 plays, 75 yards, TOP 3:00  7 - 0 
  07:31  ALEDO   JoJo Earle 74 yd pass from Brayden Nicolosi (Clay Murador kick) 
         3 plays, 74 yards, TOP 1:24  7 - 7 
  05:02  CROSBY   Reggie Branch 2 yd run (Trevor Helburg kick) 
         9 plays, 75 yards, TOP 2:29  14 - 7 
  02:43  ALEDO   DeMarco Roberts 32 yd run (Clay Murador kick) 
         8 plays, 75 yards, TOP 2:19  14 - 14 
2nd  08:38  ALEDO   DeMarco Roberts 5 yd run (Clay Murador kick) 
         12 plays, 72 yards, TOP 5:35  14 - 21 
  05:45  ALEDO   DeMarco Roberts 25 yd run (Clay Murador kick) 
         5 plays, 53 yards, TOP 1:09  14 - 28 
  00:42  ALEDO   DeMarco Roberts 20 yd run (Clay Murador kick) 
         10 plays, 71 yards, TOP 2:36  14 - 35 
3rd  07:08  ALEDO   DeMarco Roberts 1 yd run (Clay Murador kick) 
         13 plays, 75 yards, TOP 4:52  14 - 42 
4th  11:12  ALEDO   Brian Fleming 20 yd pass from Brayden Nicolosi (Clay Murador kick) 
         10 plays, 68 yards, TOP 5:50  14 - 49 
  10:14  CROSBY   Deniquez Dunn 7 yd run (Trevor Helburg kick) 
         4 plays, 87 yards, TOP 0:48  21 - 49 
  08:56  ALEDO   DeMarco Roberts 54 yd run (Clay Murador kick) 
         3 plays, 70 yards, TOP 1:06  21 - 56 

 

 Team Totals  CROSBY  ALEDO 
FIRST DOWNS  16  30 
   Rushing  18 
   Passing  12 
   Penalty 
NET YARDS RUSHING  192  381 
   Rushing Attempts  29  54 
   Average Per Rush  6.6  7.1 
   Rushing Touchdowns 
   Yards Gained Rushing  208  396 
   Yards Lost Rushing  16  15 
NET YARDS PASSING  169  234 
   Completions-Attempts-Int  13-25-1  16-20-0 
   Average Per Attempt  6.8  11.7 
   Average Per Completion  13.0  14.6 
   Passing Touchdowns 
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS  361  615 
   Total offense plays  54  74 
   Average Gain Per Play  6.7  8.3 
Fumbles: Number-Lost  2-0  0-0 
Penalties: Number-Yards  3-20  5-50 
PUNTS-YARDS  1-41  0-0 
   Average Yards Per Punt  41.0  0.0 
   Net Yards Per Punt  41.0  0.0 
   Inside 20 
   50+ Yards 
   Touchbacks 
   Fair catch 
KICKOFFS-YARDS  4-197  9-503 
   Average Yards Per Kickoff  49.2  55.9 
   Net Yards Per Kickoff  33.5  32.4 
   Touchbacks 
   Fair Catch Yards 
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD  0-0-0  0-0-0 
   Average Per Return  0.0  0.0 
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD  5-111-0  2-13-0 
   Average Per Return  22.2  6.5 
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD  0-0-0  1-10-0 
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD  0-0-0  0-0-0 
Miscellaneous Yards 
Possession Time  16:38  31:22 
   1st Quarter  5:59  6:01 
   2nd Quarter  4:53  7:07 
   3rd Quarter  2:06  9:54 
   4th Quarter  3:40  8:20 
Third-Down Conversions  3 of 8  12 of 15 
Fourth-Down Conversions  0 of 2  3 of 3 
Red-Zone Scores-Chances  3-3  4-4 
   Touchdowns  3-3  4-4 
   Field goals  0-3  0-4 
Sacks By: Number-Yards  1-6  2-14 
PAT Kicks  3-3  8-8 
Field Goals  0-1  0-0 
Points off turnovers 

 

Crosby

  

Aledo

RUSHING  No.  Gain  Loss  Net  TD  Lg  Avg. 
Deniquez Dunn  17  113  14  99  26  5.8 
Reggie Branch  11  74  72  36  6.5 
E'Monte Wilson  21  21  21  21.0 
Totals...  29  208  16  192  36  6.6 
  
  
  
  
  
  
RUSHING  No.  Gain  Loss  Net  TD  Lg  Avg. 
DeMarco Roberts  31  258  254  54  8.2 
JoJo Earle  12  91  91  24  7.6 
Clay Murador  21  21  21  21.0 
Jeremiah James  10  10  2.5 
Davhon Keys  4.0 
Brant Hayden  1.0 
Brayden Nicolosi  0.5 
TEAM   -5  -5.0 
Totals...  54  396  15  381  54  7.1 
 
PASSING  Cmp-Att-Int  Yds  TD  Long  Sack 
Deniquez Dunn  13-25-1  169  44 
Totals...  13-25-1  169  44 
  
  
PASSING  Cmp-Att-Int  Yds  TD  Long  Sack 
Brayden Nicolosi  15-19-0  216  74 
Ethan McBrayer  1-1-0  18  18 
Totals...  16-20-0  234  74 
 
RECEIVING  No.  Yds  TD  Lg 
Reggie Branch  79  44 
Irvin Paige  54  43 
Jaylen Herman  24  10 
E'Monte Wilson  12 
Totals...  13  169  44 
  
  
  
RECEIVING  No.  Yds  TD  Lg 
JoJo Earle  133  74 
Jaedon Pellegrino  35  14 
Jalen Pope  19 
Jason Llewellyn  24  16 
Brian Fleming  20  20 
DeMarco Roberts 
Totals...  16  234  74 
 
PUNTING  No.  Yds  Avg  Long  In20  TB 
Jeremiah Isaac  41  41.0  41 
Totals...  41  41.0  41 
  
PUNTING  No.  Yds  Avg  Long  In20  TB 
Totals...  0.0 
  
 
   Punts  Kickoffs  Intercept 
ALL RETURNS  No  Yds  Lg  No  Yds  Lg  No  Yds  Lg 
Reggie Branch  36  36 
E'Monte Wilson  65  33 
Cyrin Myles  10  10 
Totals...  111  36 
  
   Punts  Kickoffs  Intercept 
ALL RETURNS  No  Yds  Lg  No  Yds  Lg  No  Yds  Lg 
DeMarco Roberts  17  17 
Cap Mooney  10  10 
Davhon Keys  -4 
Totals...  13  17  10  10 
 
ALL PURPOSE  Rush  Rcv  KR  PR  IR  Total 
Reggie Branch  72  79  36  187 
Deniquez Dunn  99  99 
E'Monte Wilson  21  12  65  98 
Irvin Paige  54  54 
Jaylen Herman  24  24 
Cyrin Myles  10  10 
Totals...  192  169  111  472 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
ALL PURPOSE  Rush  Rcv  KR  PR  IR  Total 
DeMarco Roberts  254  17  274 
JoJo Earle  91  133  224 
Jaedon Pellegrino  35  35 
Jason Llewellyn  24  24 
Clay Murador  21  21 
Brian Fleming  20  20 
Jalen Pope  19  19 
Cap Mooney  10  10 
Jeremiah James  10  10 
Davhon Keys  -4 
Brant Hayden 
Brayden Nicolosi 
TEAM   -5  -5 
Totals...  381  234  13  10  638 
 
FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS 
Trevor Helburg  2nd  03:18  46 yards  Missed 
  
FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS 
  
 
KICKOFFS  No.  Yds  TB  OB  Avg. 
Trevor Helburg  197  49.2 
  
KICKOFFS  No.  Yds  TB  OB  Avg. 
Clay Murador  503  55.9 
##  Crosby   Solo  Ast  Total  TFL/Yds  FF  FR-Yds  Int-Yds  BrUp  Blkd  Sack/Yds  QBH 
9   Sir Hill  7.5  .   .   .   .  
21  Desmond Tisdom  6.5  .   .   .   .  
8   Jeremiah Isaac  6.5  .   .   .   .  
5   Michael Ray  6.0  .   .   .   .  
40  McCoy Casey  6.0  .   .   .   .  
90  Wade Lewis  5.0  1.5/7   .   .   0.5/3  
11  Jamauri Johnson  5.0  0.5/3   .   .   0.5/3  
16  Trevon King  4.5  .   .   .   .  
6   Randolph Hubbard  4.0  .   .   .   .  
13  E'Monte Wilson  2.5  .   .   .   .  
28  Casey Parker  2.0  .   .   .   .  
33  Coby Riendeau  1.5  .   .   .   .  
53  Christian Sagastegui  1.0  .   .   .   .  
50  Kaden Jones  1.0  .   .   .   .  
10  Cyrin Myles  0.5  .   .   .   .  
24  Camari Parker  0.5  .   .   .   .  
##  Aledo   Solo  Ast  Total  TFL/Yds  FF  FR-Yds  Int-Yds  BrUp  Blkd  Sack/Yds  QBH 
5   Ryan Williams  6.5  .   .   .   .  
23  Elijah Valencia  6.0  .   .   .   .  
29  Caden Anderson  4.5  2.0/14   .   .   1.0/6  
40  Keenan Hess  4.0  .   .   .   .  
27  Jaden Allen  3.5  .   .   .   .  
43  Kyle Thompson  3.0  1.0/8   .   .   1.0/8  
26  Sammy Steffe  2.5  .   .   .   .  
13  Logan Flinta  2.0  .   .   .   .  
35  Cap Mooney  1.5  1.0/1   .   1-10  .  
7   Bryan Allen  1.5  .   .   .   .  
28  Taylon Kessler  1.0  .   .   .   .  
9   Brant Hayden  1.0  1.0/1   .   .   .  
34  Aiden Olenjack  1.0  .   .   .   .  
61  Oliver Crow  1.0  .   .   .   .  
8   Chris Wright  0.5  .   .   .   .  
32  Lane Hale  0.5  .   .   .   .  
20  Sam Forman  0.5  .   .   .   .  
97  Matthew Bell  0.5  .   .   .   .  

 

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