Big play offense lifts Aledo past Corsicana, 68-28, into state title game

MESQUITE — Just like that, just like always. The double-digit numbers explained the dominance.

There were so many big plays for Aledo in its 68-28 victory against Corsicana in a state semifinal matchup Friday night at Mesquite Memorial Stadium. Johnathan Gray had touchdown runs of 76, 36, 23, 16 and 1 yards to give him a tie for the national record with 204 career touchdowns. Michael Mann had two touchdown receptions of 34 yards or longer.

Anything that could happen offensively in a football game seemed to happen. Kick return touchdowns, long runs, a Hail Mary, a 33-point quarter — all for Aledo.

Corsicana did at least fight, coming back from a 20-0 hole with two second-quarter touchdowns. But this was against Aledo. It didn’t last.

The momentum Corsicana accrued as it pulled within six faded away in a forgettable five seconds of game time. It started with an interception. Quarterback DeVontay Bell threw a pass that was picked off with five seconds left in the half, giving Aledo the ball back near midfield. Aledo then threw an incomplete pass but got another play because of a Corsicana penalty. Then the momentum-sucker occurred.

Aledo quarterback Matthew Bishop launched a Hail Mary pass to the end zone that was tipped by Willie Gibson, then caught by Mann. A 34-yard touchdown pass. A killer.

Aledo resumed its big-play tendencies on the first play of the second half with a kickoff return. Jonny Carter ran it back for 82 yards.

From that point on, Corsicana just couldn’t contain the damage. Aledo’s wave of big-play offense had swelled on Corsicana, and it couldn’t do anything to stop the crush.

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