SHREVEPORT, La. -- Bentonville High's football team's first appearance at the Independence Bowl began with the opening kickoff being fumbled out of bounds inside the Tigers' 10-yard line.
It wouldn't get any better from there Saturday afternoon. Aledo, a Class 5A powerhouse in Texas, jumped out to a 24-0 lead through the first 16 minutes and went on to hand Bentonville a 51-14 loss during the eighth annual Battle of the Border.
ALEDO, TEXAS 51, BENTONVILLE HIGH 14
Aledo — Earle 5 pass from Bishop (Smith kick), 8:21.
Aledo — McClelland 9 run (Smith kick), 5:58.
Aledo — Owens 9 run (Smith kick), 11:07.
Aledo — FG Smith 24, 9:25.
Bent — Smith 40 pass from Hughes (Younger kick), 7:34.
Aledo — Owens 15 run (kick failed), 2:46.
Aledo — Earle 62 pass from Bishop (Smith kick), :30.
Aledo — Earle 64 pass from Bishop (Smith kick), 3:27.
Bent — Crawford 3 run (Younger kick), 0:00.
Aledo — Jackson 2 run (Little kick), 5:18.
RUSHING Bentonville — Crawford 12-45, Ried 12-33, Hughes 5-(minus 8), Campbell 1-(minus 9). Aledo — McClelland 16-88, Jackson 7-39, Owens 2-24, Earle 3-23, Fay 3-8, Bishop 8-1.
PASSING Bentonville — Hughes 12-22-1-100, Edwards 1-1-0-7. Aledo — Bishop 10-14-0-237, Fay 3-3-0-20.
RECEIVING Bentonville — Campbell 5-25, Smith 3-50, Lee 1-11, Moss 1-9, Miller 1-7, Crawford 1-6, Fetherolf 1-(minus 1). Aledo — Earle 5-161, Hayhurst 4-48, Fay 1-35, Little 1-6, Selph 1-5, McClelland 1-2.
MISSED FIELD GOALS Aledo — Smith, 46.
"Our expectation for our kids is that we would perform better than this," Bentonville coach Jody Grant said. "And we didn't.
"We've got to get better. We have to improve, and we will. This is a really good football team we played -- a top-notch program. But if we're going to be like we have been, we should be able to play with teams like this. It was unfortunate that we didn't."
Bentonville (0-3) managed to move away from its goal line on its opening drive, but Easton Hughes' pass on the game's fourth play was intercepted by Collin Johnson, who returned it to the Tigers 24. Aledo (2-0) needed only five plays to score, with Jake Bishop hitting Jo Jo Earle with a 5-yard touchdown pass with 8 minutes, 21 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Bearcats' lead quickly grew to 21-0 with touchdown runs of 9 yards by Jase McClelland and 9 yards by Tre Smith, the latter coming on the third play of the second quarter. It became 24-0 moments later as Bentonville fumbled the ensuing kickoff away, then Harper Smith booted a 24-yard field goal.
"You can't do that with good teams," Grant said. "You can't give them opportunities, freebies and stuff like that. It's uncharacteristic of our team, and we've got to get that fixed."
Bentonville pulled off a flea-flicker for its first score, with Easton Hughes hitting Dylan Smith with a 40-yard touchdown pass with 7:34 before halftime. Aledo, however, used a 15-yard touchdown run by Owens and another pass from Bishop to Earle -- this time for 62 yards -- to extend its lead to 37-7 at halftime.
The Bearcats then forced the sportsmanship rule and the running clock when Bishop and Earle connected for a third time, this time a 65-yard touchdown pass, and made it a 44-7 game. Preston Crawford ended the third quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run for Bentonville's only other score, then Aledo added a 2-yard run by Avery Jackson in the fourth quarter.
"We talked about this at halftime, and we said we were going to point out the positives," Grant said. "It's not all bad out there. Right now, the bad just outweighs the good. If there are some kids out there doing good things, then we're going to keep going with that."
Bentonville has an open date before it opens 7A-West Conference play with a home game Sept. 21 against Springdale Har-Ber.
Sports on 09/09/2018
Print Headline: Aledo too much for Bentonville in Louisiana