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Jonathan Gray of Aledo (Texas) sets national TD record

Gray rushed for 241 yards and scored one touchdown to break the national record for career touchdowns with 205, eclipsing the total set by Mike Hart of Nedrow Onondaga, N.Y.

The senior, who has committed to Texas, fell 12 points shy of the national all-time points record.

The record “means a lot,” Gray said. “It means our team has worked that much harder than any other team. You couldn’t do it without our offensive line and others. To break the record is a team effort.”

Bishop, the game’s offensive MVP, ran for two touchdowns and passed for three others, including two to Parker Bradham. Bishop, a senior, had 186 yards on 14-of-17 passing.

Todd Christian returned an interception 69 yards for another score to help Aledo to its fourth overall title.

Jaylen Hill, who had seven tackles, 1.5 sacks and two tackles-for-loss, was selected the game’s defensive MVP.

Quarterback Shane McCarley had 310 total yards, including 250 yards on 14-of-34 passing and two touchdowns for Manvel. He also had a rushing touchdown.

A crowd of 43,369 turned out Saturday, many to see Gray, considered by some to be the best runner in Texas high school history.

In addition to eclipsing the national touchdown record held by Hart, Gray also moved into second place for the most yards rushing in a single season in Texas, passing Rodney Thomas of Groveton (3,701).

Sugar Land’s Ken Hall holds the record with 4,045 in 1953. Hall also holds the most cherished of them all, the national record for career yards at 10,648 between 1950 and 1953.

Gray fell 343 yards short.

Manvel had an eye on Gray, too. The Mavericks stacked the line in an attempt to limit him, and they were effective.

Still, Gray had 134 yards at halftime, and long runs — 43 and 50 yards — set up first-and-goals in the first half.

His teammates capitalized. Bishop scored on an 8-yard run and threw for another, 10 yards to Bradham to extend Aledo’s lead to 28-7 at halftime.

“Well, if (Manvel) didn’t do what they did, J. Gray would have run for 500,” Bishop said.

A young Bearcats defense that appeared vulnerable at the beginning of the year held a prolific Manvel offense in check in the first half.

The Mavericks, who averaged more than 436 yards and 45 points a game this season, finally found a groove in the third quarter. McCarley hit Corey Seymour on a pair of touchdown passes on consecutive drives, one for 25 yards and the other 29.

When McCarley scored from 3 yards out, Manvel, a fourth-year varsity program, was within seven with 11:44 left. Gray set the record on Aledo’s next possession.

“We really thought we needed to shut him down,” Manvel coach Kirk Martin said of Gray. “I thought we contained him all right, but he still had a good night.”

Said Gray of Manvel: “Those guys up there are big — big. My guys got a great push up front, though, and I got in.”

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