Breckenridge Texan

Buckaroos’ football season ends in Brownwood

Buckaroos’ football season ends in Brownwood
November 18
15:16 2017

Zach Willis, No. 25, crosses the goal line in the Buckaroos’ first touchdown Friday night, Nov. 17, in Brownwood. Breckenridge played Merkel in the Bi-District Playoff. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Breckenridge Buckaroos’ 2017 football season came to an end Friday night on Bloom Field in Brownwood’s Gordon Wood Stadium as the Merkel Badgers allowed the clock to run out, preserving their 21 to 14 lead.

The Nov. 17 District 3A-Division I Region 1 Bi-District playoff game started off on a positive note for the Buckaroos when No. 25 Zach Willis scored the first touchdown just 2:48 into the game. No. 10 Jose Escobedo’s extra point kick was good. A couple of minutes later, the Badgers answered with a touchdown of their own. A failed point-after attempt took the score to 7-6 in favor of the Buckaroos with 7:37 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Breckenridge’s No. 34 Warren Hardy made the team’s second touchdown of the night. Escobedo’s kick was good. With 9:42 to go in the first half, the score was 14-6. Unfortunately for the Buckaroos, that was the last time they would score in the game.

The rest of the second quarter was punctuated with an interception, two fumbles and some penalties, but none of that changed the score. The two teams went to the locker rooms with the halftime score remaining at Breckenridge 14, Merkel 6.

The Buckaroos tackle a Merkel Badger in the Bi-District Playoff Friday night. The final score was Breckenridge 14, Merkel 21. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Merkel came back strong, making a touchdown just a minute and 15 seconds into the third quarter. A two-point conversion tied the score at 14-14.

The Buckaroos and the Badgers traded the ball back and forth and racked up penalties until about two-thirds of the way through the final quarter. With 4:44 left in the game, Merkel scored a touchdown and extra point, the last score of the night.

The final score of the game was Breckenridge Buckaroos 14, Merkel Badgers 21.

“It was very disappointing for our kids,” Breckenridge Head Coach Casey Hubble said after the game. “By no means did we underestimate those guys. We knew they had playmakers. We knew we were going to have to make some plays. They made more plays than we did.”

The team followed their regular routine last week but still fell short in the end, the coach said.

“We practiced hard every day, we didn’t back off, kept practicing hard, lifted weights. Did everything we normally do. They just beat us. … We didn’t score in the second half and gave up two scores in the second half. There you go,” he said. “I love my team. They’re good kids. They worked hard. We were able to do something pretty neat last week, but the message all week to them was just because you did it don’t mean it’s going to happen again. You gotta go do it every week. That’s why Texas high school playoffs is the greatest single elimination tournament there is, as far as I’m concerned. High school kids out there fighting. We didn’t get it done.”

The Badgers will go on to play Muleshoe High School next week in the Area playoff round.

The only District 4-3A team left in the playoffs is the Brock Eagles, the team Breckenridge beat last week for the district championship. Brock beat Clyde Thursday night, 49-3, and will play Shallowater on Nov. 24 in Vernon.

What’s next for the Buckaroo football program? “We’ll take a little time to evaluate and then get back to work,” Hubble said.

Breckenridge High School Head Football Coach Casey Hubble gives his final after-the-game speech to the 2017 varsity Buckaroos. After a 5-0 record for district play, the team lost in the Bi-District Playoff to the Merkel Badgers Friday night. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown

Cutline, top photo: The Breckenridge Buckaroos take down a Merkel Badger Friday night in Brownwood’s Gordon Wood Stadium. (Photo by Tony Pilkington)


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