We are now three rounds deep into the Texas High School playoffs, and are back at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield, Texas. The Aledo Bearcats host the South Oak Cliff Bears in a huge 5A-II match up. Aledo comes into the game with a 23 game winning streak, and are on a quest for an 11th state title.
Aledo started off with the ball and marched down the field to score with a little over 7 minutes left in the first quarter. Sammy Steffe would spin out of a tackle and rush his way to a 27-yard touchdown. South Oak Cliff made it clear they weren’t scared of the 10x state champions though. The Bears set the tone early, and matched the energy of Aledo on their first drive.
A big strike from Kevin Henry-Jennings to Randy Reece Jr would help set up South Oak Cliff in the red zone. A few plays later they would tie the game back up thanks to a Ke’undrae Hollywood punching in the three yard run. With 3:13 left in the 1st quarter we had ourselves a 7-7 game.
SOC’s defense would shut down Aledo on their second drive and quickly get the ball back. North Texas commit Qualon Farrar would bounce a run to the outside and gain the Bears an easy 29-yards. A few plays later Henry-Jennings would complete a six-yard touchdown pass to Jamyri Cauley and give the Bears a 14-7 lead.
Aledo would respond back with a long and physical eight minute drive to tie the game back up with 3:49 in the half. Sammy Steffe pushed in a five-yard score giving him his second touchdown of the first half. South Oak Cliff wasn’t phased and put together a great three minute offense to move the ball down the field. Jamyri Cauley would show everyone why he is one of the most talented sophomores in Texas with a huge reception to flip the field for SOC.
A few plays later and Kevin Henry-Jennings would take it himself for a three-yard score. Just like that the Bears retake the lead in less than a minute, and they weren’t done putting their foot on the gas just yet. Right as Aledo gets the ball back Abdul Muhhammad would intercept Fowler-Nicolosi’s pass and take it to the crib. Suddenly the game was blown wide open with a 13-point swing in less than 45 seconds. This would give South Oak Cliff a 27-14 lead going into halftime.
The Bearcats started to look like themselves coming out of the second half. South Oak Cliff started with the ball would Aledo’s defense would force a punt. Then Aledo would go on a 14-play, eight minute drive, to bring this back to a one possession game. On 4th & 6 Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi would find Bryan Allen for a touchdown to cap off the drive.
Now with the score at 27-21 it seemed that Aledo would start to shift the momentum back on their side. Oak Cliff would get the ball back but the Bearcat defense stepped up once again forcing a punt. On the very next drive Sammy Steffe and Bryan Allen pushed the ball down the field to help Aledo retake their lead. Allen took the ball himself from six-yards out, and would score with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter.
South Oak Cliff wouldn’t let Aledo just walk to a comeback win though. The next drive for SOC the Bears ran 11-plays and capped it off with a 18-yard touchdown pass to Randy Reece Jr. With less than a minute left on the clock Aledo had the ball at the South Oak Cliff 14-yard line. On fourth down, after getting stuffed multiple times to take the lead, Aledo would fumble the ball under the center. South Oak Cliff recovered, and that was all she wrote.
Sammy Steffe finished the game with 32 carries, 197 rushing yards, and two touchdowns. Kevin Henry-Jennings finished the day with 170 yards and two touchdowns. Abdul Muhhammad would have to be our player of the game though as his defensive turnover was the difference at the end of the game.
South Oak Cliff moves on to play Lovejoy High School in the 4th round of the UIL 5A-II Texas football playoffs. Lovejoy beat Mansfield Timberview 24-20 in their 3rd round match up. Be sure to check out our other stories covering the Texas High School football season. Our second and third games of the week feature Mansfield Summit & Midlothian High School along with Southlake Carroll & Lewisville High School.