[By Anthony Hawthorne, Special to ETSN.fm]

TYLER -- To beat a high-powered Alto team the Beckville Bearcats needed a near-perfect performance on Friday night. And they got just that.

Beckville ran off 36 unanswered points and cruised to a 49-20 victory over previously unbeaten and fifth-ranked Alto in a Class 2A Division I area-round showdown at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Beckville (11-1) advances to face Lovelady (12-0), a 42-6 winner over San Augustine on Friday night. Alto finished its season at 11-1.

The Bearcats used a power running game to control the clock and pound away at an Alto defense whose previous high for points given up was 33 in the season's opening week against Class 3A's Crockett.

“I’m so proud of them,” Beckville coach Lance Gamble said. “The message all week was playing with a tremendous amount of effort. Just do the fundamental things we’ve been doing since August and it’s the first time all year we did it for 48 minutes and that’s what it took against a team like Alto.”

Jacari Reed handed out four quarters of punishment, bullying his way to 191 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown, dragging and bowling over defenders in the process. Rahmon Mitchell topped the 100-yard mark as well, picking up 106 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, as well as catching a 36-yard touchdown.

“Jacari’s a bull,” Gamble said of his tailback. “He’s such a hard runner and has such a great desire to play the game and plays so hard, and we trust him. He’s worked his tail off, a four-year starter that’s the heart and soul of our team, he’s a captain and I have a lot of faith giving it to him and our offensive line did a great job.”

Quarterback Trey Lindsey accounted for four scores -- three on the ground from 12, 2 and 1 yards out, and finished with 51 yards on nine carries.

The ground game effectively set up the play-action pass, with Lindsey completing 6 of his 10 passes for 145 yards and a score.

The Alto offense was forced into second- and third-and-long throughout the night, and with its strong-suit being the running game, especially from the quarterback position, it created problems.

Keenen Johnson, who entered the game with 37 rushing scores on the year, had solid numbers, picking up 211 yards on 20 carries and a score, but fumbled three times and threw an interception.

Beckville took advantage of those turnovers, creating 22 points off of them and putting Alto into a deficit that forced the pass from an offense more suited to run.

“We won first down on a lot of drives,” Gamble said of his defense. “That’s huge against a team like that because they’re so dangerous. I felt like we had a pretty good game plan, and we preached all week to get to the football. Our kids sold out to it and did an incredible job.”

The Jackets, who trailed 28-14 at the half, fumbled the ball on their first snap of the second half and the Bearcats took advantage.

Two carries by Reed to the 2-yard line set up Lindsay for his second score of the night and a 35-14 lead for the Bearcats.

Beckville forced a punt and went right back at it, moving the ball 49 yards, mainly behind the legs of Reed who had 33 yards on the drive and moved it to the 1, where Lindsay finished it off.

Reed finished off the Bearcats final score of the night, getting into the end zone from 2 yards out on third-and-goal, finishing an impressive night in the process.

Johnson never quit, scoring the final points of the game -- Alto’s first score since the first quarter when he connected with Mikkah Hackett for a 30-yard touchdown.

Despite a rough night, Johnson closes out an incredible career at Alto with more than 2,600 yards rushing and 38 touchdowns on the ground.

The Bearcats were nearly flawless, committing just three penalties, not turning the ball over and never punting, picking up a huge win that was extra special for Coach Gamble, a former Alto player.

“I didn’t think about it a lot this week,“ he said. “I have great memories there and I was more excited to play a top-two or three team in the state just to see where we were at. That’s what I was trying to focus on. Coach Gould does a great job with that team, and it was just our night. Hopefully we can keep it going”

Beckville 49, No. 5 Alto 20

Class 2A Division I Area Playoffs
At Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium

Beckville   13   15    7    14 -- 49
Alto          14     0    0      6  -- 20
First Quarter
BEC – Jake Smith 8 pass from Trey Lindsay (Joel Saucedo kick) 9:00
ALT – Nick Pope 20 run (Gonzolo Argullin kick) 6:31
BEC – Lindsay 12 run (Kick failed) :51
ALT – Keenen Johnson 66 run (Argullin kick) :10
Second Quarter
BEC – Rahmon Mitchell 36 pass from Lindsay (Jacari Reed 2-pt) 7:25
BEC – Mitchell 15 run (Saucedo kick) 1:00
Third Quarter
BEC – Lindsay 2 run (Saucedo kick) 5:54
Fourth Quarter
BEC – Lindsay 1 run (Saucedo kick) 11:57
BEC – Jacari Reed 2 run (Saucedo kick) 4:41
ALT – Mikkah Hackett 30 pass from Johnson (2-pt failed) 3:38

                            BEC            ALT
First Downs          21               10
Total Yards            502             396
Rushes-Yards       59-357        26-239
Passing Yards       145             157
Comp-Att-Int        6-10-0         6-12-1
Penalties-Yards     3-30            7-65
Fumbles-Lost       0-0               3-3
Punts-Avg            0-0                2-24.0

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING – Beckville, Jacari Reed 24-191, Rahmon Mitchell 24-106, Trey Lindsay 9-51, Jay’von Lewis 2-9. Alto, Keenen Johnson 20-211, Nick Pope 3-23, Fred Thacker 1-1, Craig Collins 2-4.
PASSING – Beckville, Lindsay 6-10-0--145. Alto, Johnson 6-12-1--157.
RECEIVING – Beckville, Jake Smith 1-8, Jase Dixon 1-34, Braden Wise 3-67, Mitchell 1-36. Alto, Jaqualon Finley 1-3, Jayren Whitaker 1-48, Mikkah Hackett 3-94, Logan Cook 1-12.