Written by Corbett Smith
Aledo coach takes advantage of unforeseen benefit of TV broadcasts of championship games
ARLINGTON - An unforeseen benefit of broadcasting the state final games on television is allowing teams and coaches a breather. With offenses going a mile a minute, getting a few extra breaks doesn't hurt, said Aledo coach Tim Buchanan.
"Thanks to TV, we got a lot of time to plan," Buchanan said. "I see why the NFL does that now. You get to rest, you get some water. I'm not used to getting two minutes to talk to them, seven or eight times per game. It felt like another halftime a couple of times."
Aledo never trailed during 2013 season
Among the litany of amazing records Aledo amassed over the season, a statistic that truly shows the level of the Bearcats' dominance is that they never trailed at any point over their 16-game path to the Class 4A Division II state title.
Brenham nearly put that to an end twice in the first half.
With Aledo holding a 3-0 lead with less than a minute to go in the first quarter, Brenham's Caleb Hill completed a 34-yard pass to Courtland Sutton, moving the ball down to Aledo's two-yard line.
But Brenham couldn't take advantage. On the next play, Hill and running back Earnest Patterson mishandled the exchange on a read option. Aledo linebacker Tyson Mauser immediately pounced on the fumble.
Midway through the second quarter, Brenham got back into the red zone, still trailing 3-0. But two incompletions by Hill in three plays left Brenham settling for a 22-yard field goal by Tein Pham.
One Aledo streak did come to an end, however. It was the first time this season that Aledo's first drive ended without a first down.
Johnathan Gray impressed by his alma mater's return to 4A podium
Aledo's Johnathan Gray won three straight state titles during his record-setting high school career. Yet, with all his accolades and rings, even he came away impressed with the performance of this year's team.
"I'd say that fundamentally, as a collective group, they're better than we were," Gray said. "They definitely have the athletes in every position, not just a couple."
Propped up on crutches on the Aledo sidelines, still in a boot following a surgery on his right Achilles, Gray said that he wasn't surprised by this team's success, watching them develop through the program as freshmen and sophomores.
"They learned from our mistakes," Gray said. "They came through, grew up as a team, as a unit, and came out here and went undefeated."
Follow Corbett Smith on Twitter at @corbettsmithDMN
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