For just the third time in school history the Brenham Cubs played for the biggest prize in Texas High School Football—the State Championship.
But for the third time, the Cubs came up one win short.
The Aledo Bearcats (16-0) continued one of the most prolific runs in U.I.L. history with their fourth State Championship in the past five years, defeating the Cubs (14-2), 38-10 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Saturday afternoon.
The game was tightly fought over the first 19 minutes, with the contest tied at 3-3 with less than five minutes remaining in the first half.
Aledo’s Parker Shaunfield got his team on the board first with a 33-yard field goal late in the first quarter.
The Cubs received a crucial blow early in the game as standout wide receiver and linebacker James Homan, who caught two passes for 44 yards on the Cubs’ first two drives, suffered a broke ankle and was lost for the remainder of the game.
"That hurt us really bad," Cubs' Head Coach Glen West told KWHI's Kyle Van Hook. "(losing Homan) hurt both the offense and the defense."
Brenham marched right down the field and seemed poised to take the lead with a first down on the Aledo 2-yard line, but a costly fumble gave the ball back to the Bearcats and thwarted the Cubs’ scoring chance.
"The turnover down on the goal line was crucial," said West. "We had a chance to battle back, but couldn't. But the kids played so hard."
The Cubs’ freshman kicker Tein Pham tied the game with a 22-yard field goal with just over six minutes left in the half.
But in the last five minutes of the half, Aledo struck for two quick touchdowns: a 2-yard run by fullback Daythan Davis and a 22-yard pass from Luke Bishop to Ryan Newsome.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Bearcats broke it open on the first play of the fourth quarter when Bishop hit wide receiver Taco Anderson with a 43-yard scoring pass.
A minute-and-a-half later, Aledo extended their lead even further, with a 59-yard touchdown run by Newsome.
The Cubs were able to reach the end zone with 7:55 remaining when quarterback Caleb Hill hit Tre’Vante Johnson with a 70-yard flea-flicker touchdown pass.
Aledo put the cap on the scoring with 6:42 left in the game when Bishop hit Anderson once-again, from 18-yards away.
"They're a football team," said West of the Bearcats. "We knew that going in. We knew we had to play perfect to win it, but we made some mistakes and that was the difference."
Bishop was named the offensive star of the game, with 157 yards passing with three touchdowns, and led all rushers with 133 yards on the ground.
Aledo linebacker Jordan Mittie was named defensive player of the game.
Junior running back Earnest Patterson concluded his record-smashing season with 83 yards on 17 carries, while junior quarterback Caleb Hill finished 11-of-25 for 217 yards and a touchdown.
"We're very happy to be where we are," said West. "We'll keep knocking on that door and one day we'll kick it in."
Box Score (Final)
02:03 ALEDO - Shaunfield,P. 33 yd field goal
06:02 BRENHAM - Pham,Tein 22 yd field goal
04:43 ALEDO - Davis,Daythan 2 yd run (Nevarez,Chance kick)
00:59 ALEDO - Newsome,Ryan 28 yd pass from Bishop,Luke (Nevarez,Chance kick)
11:50 ALEDO - Anderson,Taco 43 yd pass from Bishop,Luke (Nevarez,Chance kick)
09:29 ALEDO - Newsome,Ryan 59 yd run (Nevarez,Chance kick)
07:55 BRENHAM - Johnson,T. 70 yd pass from Hill,Caleb (Pham,Tein kick)
06:42 ALEDO - Anderson,Taco 18 yd pass from Bishop,Luke (Nevarez,Chance kick)
RUSHING: Aledo Bearcats-Bishop,Luke 13-133; Anders,Jess 14-119; Newsome,Ryan 6-91; Davis,Daythan 5-9; Mallory,Isaiah 2-4; Vidrine,Aaron 1-0. Brenham Cubs-Patterson,E. 17-83; Hill,Caleb 11-17; Thomas,Walter 4-10.
PASSING: Aledo Bearcats-Bishop,Luke 6-10-0-157. Brenham Cubs-Hill,Caleb 11-25-1-216; Thomas,Walter 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING: Aledo Bearcats-Anderson,Taco 4-95; Whatley,John 1-34; Newsome,Ryan 1-28. Brenham Cubs-Sutton,C. 3-76; Homas,James 2-44; Thomas,Walter 2-15; Johnson,T. 1-70; Tyler 1-7; Wilson,Malik 1-2; Patterson,E. 1-2.
INTERCEPTIONS: Aledo Bearcats-Mauser,Tyson 1-32. Brenham Cubs-None.
FUMBLES: Aledo Bearcats-None. Brenham Cubs-Thomas,Walter 1-0; Hill,Caleb 1-1.
Date: Dec 21, 2013 • Site: Arlington, Texas • Stadium: AT&T Stadium
Kickoff time: 12:06 pm • End of Game: 2:51 pm • Total elapsed time: 2:45
Offensive MVP: Aledo's Luke Bishop
Defensive MVP: Aledo's Jordan Mittie