Aledo is a perennial state champion favorite, so it goes without saying that the Bearcats expect to win their season opener. Denton (Texas) Guyer High School is one of the state’s most talent-rich programs, and they were more than up to the task to challenge an Aledo team that features one of the nation’s top running backs in five-star Jace McClellan.
What unfolded was one of the great season opening shootouts featuring a ranked team in recent seasons. Here’s what we learned in Guyer’s 60-57 win:
1) The Aledo offense is elite, but the defense couldn’t stop a talented foe
In past years it’s been Aledo’s balance that has paved its way to a state title. If the Bearcats emerge victorious in 2019, it’ll probably be more because of the talent on the offensive side on the ball. In the team’s toughest season opener in memory, Aledo couldn’t buy a critical stop. Guyer quarterback Eli Stowers and wide receiver Seth Meadows torched the Aledo defensive backfield for three touchdowns to pace a Guyer team that could be a sleeper contender beneath more star-filled neighboring teams.
2) About that offense … Jace McClellan is who we thought he was
McClellan, a five-star Oklahoma commit, scored four touchdowns as part of a monster season-opener, albeit in a loss. McClellan notched scoring runs from 1 yard (on fourth-and-goal), 5 yards, 9 yards and 1 yard again. It may be cold comfort, but knowing that McClellan is in the backfield should give Aledo plenty of confidence for the remainder of the season and an expectedly deep playoff run.
3) The difference was 2-point conversions
It may seem strange, but the big differentiator in Friday night’s track meet of a football game may have been the point-after-touchdown conversions from Guyer. The Denton squad attempted two-point conversions on all but two touchdowns. The two scores where they tried a PAT kick? Both were blocked. The six on which they attempted two-point conversions? All six were good, worth 12 points. It took until the second half for Aledo to make the transition to two-point conversions to try to catch up, and by that point it was too late. Those six two-point conversions made up the three-point difference between a massive win and a loss for a Guyer team which embarks on a season that now has an entirely different trajectory.