DYNASTY: Aledo set to win seventh title in 10 years
On Friday, the Aledo Bearcats have an opportunity to pull a three-peat in the UIL 5A Division II State Championship game where they will take on Crosby (12-3). This is Aledo's attempt at a second three-peat in the last 12 seasons- their seventh state title in ten years.
Aledo sits as the two-time defending state champion after defeating Fort Bend Marshall two seasons in a row; first in 2018 with a 55-19 victory and again in 2019 with a 45-42 victory. Although going for a three-peat is already something pretty spectacular, Aledo is also gunning to break a state record- one of which they currently hold: the most UIL football state titles.
Aledo's football program currently has nine state titles- more than any other program in the state. This record can be broken Friday should they win their 10th ring.
Aledo started their reign of championship titles in 1998 where they defeated Cuero by a score of 14-7 in the Class 3A Division I title game. A decade later, in 2009, Aledo, then Class 4A Division II, defeated Brenham by 35-21 behind sophomore star running back Johnathan Gray, who would prove to be a key player in the next two seasons as well. In 2010, Gray helped lead Aledo to a 69-34 victory over La Marque, and in 2011 Gray led the charge for a 49-28 victory over Manvel.
In 2013, Aledo faced off against Brenham where the Bearcats posted a 38-10 victory. The 2014 squad returned to the title game and defeated Temple 49-45 behind star quarterback Luke Bishop, who threw for 122 yards and two touchdowns as well as totaling 169 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Missing the 2015 title, Aledo pulled ahead in 2016 to edge out Corpus Christi Calallen by a score of 24-16.
With the wins over Fort Bend Marshall in 2018 (55-19) and again in 2019 (45-42), Aledo has set the stage hopeful for a second three-peat. Head coach Tim Buchanan says he keeps his team focused more on the smaller picture, like mechanics, rather than the prospect of championship wins. "We haven't brought up a three-peat one time with our kids this year," said Buchanan. "We don't even talk about winning. Cleaning out the locker, picking up trash, blocking, and tackling… that's what we talk about instead of winning state championships. If you spend all your time worried about winning, I promise you, that's not how you win football games."
A few big-names that fans will be watching in the Class 5A Division II final on Friday include four-star wide receiver and Alabama signee, JoJo Earle as well as Senior cornerback and Lamar signee DeMarco Roberts. In five playoff games, Roberts has run for over 1,000 yards and 17 touchdowns. Roberts has scored four touchdowns on three separate occasions during the postseason. Last week against Witchita Falls Rider was no different as Roberts helped lead the Bearcats to a 55-28 victory in the state semifinals.
"At Aledo, we got a legacy. We have a chance now at 10 rings. Nobody has ever done that." Roberts said following the semifinals win.