FRISCO - A gusty and stellar performance by running back Jase McClellan was almost spoiled at the Ford Center at the Star by Collin Drake and the Ennis Lions, as Aledo survived with a closer-than-expected 43-36 overtime win to win the 5A Division II Region II championship.
McClellan was iffy coming into the game but suited up and started off well for Aledo (13-1), scoring three first half rushing touchdowns. Turnovers, though, plagued Aledo in this one, as it coughed up the ball three times, resulting in 14 Ennis (12-2) points, which kept the game much closer than it should have been.
Twice in the third quarter, McClellan fumbled with one being inside the five yard line, leading to one of the Ennis touchdowns. Ennis' comeback charge was led by Drake, who threw for 287 yards and four touchdowns.
Aledo seemed to play things conservatively down the stretch as Ennis made its comeback. But when his team needed it, Aledo quarterback Jake Bishop put the game on his shoulders with a 17-yard touchdown run in the first overtime. Bishop scrambled right at first but could not find anyone, so he reversed field and saw nothing but daylight on the way to his second rushing score of the night.
For Ennis though, as well as Drake performed throughout the game, it needed him to get his fifth touchdown of the night to extend the game. On Ennis' lone overtime possession and facing fourth down, Drake had an open receiver on a slant, but Jo Jo Earle batted away the late pass and seal the game.
Aledo will play Lubbock-Cooper in the State Semifinals with the game most likely being played in Abilene next weekend.
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