Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge Buckaroos kick off 2021 football season with 49-28 win over Jacksboro Tigers

Breckenridge Buckaroos kick off 2021 football season with 49-28 win over Jacksboro Tigers
August 29
12:14 2021

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

Heading into Friday’s season opener against the Jacksboro Tigers, there was a new level of excitement that great things were on the horizon for Buckaroo football in 2021.

The Breckenridge High School varsity team had performed well in two scrimmages and, with changes in the offseason, were ready to put all their hard work to the test Friday.

The work put in was on full display against Jacksboro High School as the Buckaroos cruised to a 49-28 season-opening win.

Breckenridge High School Head Coach Casey Pearce leads the varsity Buckaroos to the field at the start of the team’s season opener Friday, Aug. 27. Click here for the photo gallery. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

“I’m just excited about where we have come,” BHS head coach Casey Pearce said after Friday’s win. “This team has grown up, it’s matured, retained information, learned to function together. It’s just such a mature group right now, compared to what we were a year ago. I am proud of this group of seniors that have found a way to contribute, and the younger group proved that they are players. We better enjoy it.”

While the excitement level is at a new high, Pearce noted the need for improvement to get better as a team.

“We better be a little better protecting the football a week from now,” he said. “But we are going to get better. There’s a lot of things that we can fix. Our secondary has got their work cut out for them and learning how to play. But we are going to be all right. It’s just growing pains.”

For a team that was shut out in the first three games it played in 2020, it took only 13 seconds for the Bucks to put the first points on the board as Anson Rodgers returned the opening kick-off 78 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, giving the Bucks an early 8-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive for Jacksboro, the Tigers fumbled the football on their first play from scrimmage, and Jerry Lawson returned the fumble 14 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but the Bucks held a 14-0 lead just 25 seconds into the first quarter.

“You got to take advantage of opportunities, and we were able to cash in tonight,” Pearce said.

The two teams would settle in from there as Jacksboro found a little bit of an offensive groove, driving the ball 59 yards to the Buckaroo 19-yard line; however, the Breckenridge defense came away with a big stop on fourth down to put an end to the drive.

Buckaroo Jerry Lawson scoops up a Jacksboro fumble (at left) and then runs it in for the second touchdown of the Breckenridge-Jacksboro game (right photo). (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Bucks were forced to punt on their next possession, and the Tigers answered with an 11-play 88-yard drive that was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run by Christian Wiggins with 10:14 remaining in the second quarter. The PAT was good, making the score 14-7.

Breckenridge responded with an 8-play 68-yard drive that ended in a six-yard touchdown run by Chase Lehr. Rodgers had a 22-yard run on the drive, and Brandon Haigwood had a 30-yard reception on the drive. The PAT attempt was no good, making the score 20-7 with 6:56 remaining in the second quarter.

The Tigers needed just two plays to go 75 yards (51- and 24-yard receptions) and cut the Buckaroo lead to 20-13, but Zeke Castillo returned the ensuing kick-off 75 yards to extend the lead to 27-13 with 6:04 remaining in the first half.

Following a Jacksboro punt and a Breckenridge fumble, the Tigers scored on a 17-yard touchdown reception by Peyton Kinman. The Bucks would hold a 27-20 halftime lead.

Quarterback Chase Lehr runs in a touchdown for the Buckaroos in the second quarter in the team’s season opener against the Jacksboro Tigers. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Neither team scored until around the midway point of the third quarter as the Bucks needed two plays to go 64-yards. The drive saw Lehr connect with Castillo for 48 yards and Lawson pick up his second touchdown of the game with a 21-yard touchdown run. Lehr connected with Caiden Marin for the two-point conversion to extend the lead to 35-20 with 5:43 left in the third quarter.

The Breckenridge defense forced a punt on the ensuing Jacksboro drive, and the Buckaroo offense scored eight plays later on a one-yard run by Lawson. Benny Escobedo connected on the PAT to push the lead to 42-20 with just 51 seconds left in the third quarter.

Buckaroo Emilo Maya intercepted the ball to put an end to the next Jacksboro drive, but the Tigers forced a punt on the next Bucks’ possession.

Two plays into the ensuing Tiger drive, Alexis Salazar intercepted a pass, and took it 38-yards to the endzone. Escobedo’s PAT attempt was good to give the Bucks a 49-20 lead with 8:38 left in the game.

Jacksboro scored a late-game touchdown with 2:41 left in the game with a 41-yard touchdown reception from Lando Belcher to Randall Bustos.

Allowing 20 points in the first half, the Bucks were able to hold the Tigers to just eight second-half points, which came late in the game as subs were earning valuable playing time.

“We played a little better in the second half and were a little more aggressive and picked up the pressure,” Pearce said. “We kind of had a bead drawn on them of what they were going to have to come back and do to get after us. We were able to pin our ears back and go see if we could make a play, and we did.”

The Bucks finished with 200 yards rushing on 31 attempts and completed 8 of 15 passing attempts for 113 yards.

Lawson led the Buckaroo rushing effort with 59 yards on eight attempts and had two touchdowns. Rodgers finished the game with 77 yards on eight attempts.

“The people touching the football for us were pretty effective,” Pearce said. “Whenever you can be effective and efficient touching it, why not just keep giving it to them and giving them opportunities. We got to get more involved. We have a lot of kids that can make plays, and we are going to find ways to get them involved in this offense.

Defensively, the Bucks were led by Isaak Eutimio who finished the game with eight tackles (three for loss) and one sack.

The Bucks will host the Ballinger Bearcats at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, at Buckaroo Stadium for the BHS homecoming.

Ballinger lost its season-opener to defending Class 3A-Div. I Jim Ned 42-7.

Other District 3-3A-Div. I Results

Early* (1-0) 48
Bangs (0-1) 12

Wall* (1-0) 28
Eastland (1-0) 21

Cisco (1-0) 49
Clyde* (1-0) 7

Brady (1-0) 38
San Angelo TLCA* (0-1) 6

Jim Ned* (1-0)42
Ballinger (0-1) 7

*District 3-3A Div. I teams

To see more photos from the Buckaroos’ season opener, click here for the Breckenridge Texan Photo Gallery.

The Buckaroo varsity football team celebrates their 49-28 victory over the Jacksboro Tigers in the 2021 season opener. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Pride of Breckenridge – Buckaroo Band and color guard made their season debut at the Breckenridge-Jacksboro game Friday, Aug. 27. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Buckaroo running back Anson Rodgers returns the opening kick-off 78 yards for a touchdown in the 2021 season opener against the Jacksboro Tigers. That first touchdown set the tone for the game, which ended with a score of 49-28 in the Bucks’ favor. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Click here to read Brant Thurmond’s interview with Casey Pearce in the Breckenridge Texan’s season preview article. 


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