Breckenridge Texan

Buckaroos drop to 1-3 for season following loss to Eastland Mavericks

Buckaroos drop to 1-3 for season following loss to Eastland Mavericks
September 19
10:50 2021

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

Coming off a heart-breaking overtime loss to Cisco, the Breckenridge Buckaroos had a ton of positives to build on heading into their game this past Friday against the Eastland Mavericks.

They were looking to play the spoiler of the Mavericks’ homecoming festivities, but the Bucks came up short again as they were defeated 28-19, Friday evening in Eastland.

Breckenridge junior Zeke Castillo runs with the ball in Friday night’s game against the Eastland Mavericks. He scored one touchdown in the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

One of the biggest takeaways for the Buckaroos and head coach Casey Pearce was the need to execute better in critical points of the game.

“Everything that we control, we can fix,” Pearce said. “It came down to poor execution. We had poor execution when we were in crucial times and some poor decisions at times. We got to grow up and execute better.”

A defensive battle was the highlight of the first half as both teams were able to move the ball down the field, but each teams’ defensive came away with a stop.

Eastland took the game’s opening possession and were held to just three plays before Breckenridge forced a punt.

The Buckaroos managed to move the ball 31 yards but elected to punt on fourth and two.

Eastland would put together a long 13-play drive and move the ball to the Buckaroo 19-yard line. The Buckaroo defense stood its ground and came away with a stop on fourth down.

Breckenridge moved the ball 49 yards in seven plays with help from a 29-yard pass reception by Jerry Lawson from Chase Lehr on the drive but came up short as they attempted to convert a fourth down.

The Buckaroos stop the Mavericks’ offense in Friday night’s game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

On the Mavericks’ second possession of the second quarter after a Breckenridge punt, the defense for the Buckaroos stood tall again and came away with another stop after an 11-play 47-yard drive by the Mavericks.

Unfortunately, the Bucks were forced to punt on their ensuing possession after just three plays.

Eastland held the ball for the remaining 1:58 of the second quarter and moved the ball to the Buckaroo 17-yard line.

In an attempt to put points on the board as time expired in the first half, the Mavericks attempted a 35-yard field goal. But it was no good, and both teams would go into the halftime break tied at 0-0.

The offensive production came to life in the second half for Buckaroos, starting with a 68-yard kick-off return by Zeke Castillo taking the ball to the Eastland 25-yard line.

Five plays later, the Bucks capped off the drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Lehr to Anson Rodgers. The PAT was no good, making the score 6-0 with 10:36 remaining in the third quarter.

Four plays into the ensuing Maverick drive, the Buckaroo defense forced a fumble, and Xander Silva recovered it for the Buckaroos.

The Bucks needed just two plays to find the endzone again as Lawson broke free for a 43-yard touchdown run. The PAT kick by Benny Escobedo was good, giving the Bucks a 13-0 lead with 8:47 left in the third quarter.

Eastland put its first points on the board following a seven-play 76-yard drive that ended in a 33-yard touchdown run by Judson Beard with 6:19 left to play in the third quarter. The PAT was good, making the score 13-7.

A key turning point in the game came on the Bucks ensuing possession on the first play of the drive as Lehr’s pass attempt was intercepted by Eastland’s Jared Cruz and returned 25 yards for a touchdown. The PAT for the Mavericks was good, making the score 14-13 with 6:04 left in the third quarter.

Following a kick return by Castillo deep inside Maverick territory to the 25-yard line, the Bucks were knocking on the door once again following a 14-yard pass completion from Lehr to Kayden Garcia that took the ball to the Eastland six yard-line.

A string of penalties on third down saw the Bucks get backed up from a fourth and goal to the Eastland 34-yard line and were forced to punt.

Eastland needed just six plays to capitalize and ended the 80-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run by Beard. The PAT was good, giving the Mavericks a 21-13 lead with 23 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Buckaroos answered with a six play 57-yard drive that was capped off with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Lehr to Castillo. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, making the score 21-19 with 10:13 left to play in the fourth quarter.

Buckaroo running back Anson Rodgers catches the ball as Alexis Franco blocks an oncoming Maverick. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Buckaroo defense was unable to get a stop on the next Maverick possession as the Mavericks were able to drive 76 yards in 11 plays and chewed up roughly 5:30 off the clock before Keaton Hicks connected with Cruz for a 31-yard touchdown pass with 4:46 left to play in the fourth quarter.

A punt was the result of the next Buckaroo possession, and Eastland was able to possess the ball for the remaining 3:02 the game.

The Buckaroos finished with 249 yards of total offense. Lehr completed 17 of 19 passing attempts for 153 yards and had two touchdown passes and one interception.

The Bucks had 96 yards rushing on 22 attempts and were led by Lawson who had 74 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown.

Eastland had 255 yards rushing on 42 attempts and completed 18 of 27 passing attempts for 160 yards.

The road to getting their second win of the second doesn’t get any easier for the Buckaroos next week as they travel to take on the Holliday Eagles.

The Eagles enter the game 4-0 following a 27-14 win over the Bells Panthers Friday night and are ranked No. 5 in Class 3A Div-II.

“Alignment and assignments got to get better. Offensive execution and rhythm,” Pearce said on what to correct heading into the game with the Holliday Eagles. “We got to develop some rhythm on offense. It’s going to get corrected. It’s going to get pressed, and we are going to fix it.”

District 3-3A Results

Ballinger 21
*Clyde 13

*Jim Ned 28
Cisco 14

*Early 47
Merkel 13

*Wall 20
Mason 14

Regan County 40

* Denotes district opponent

Color guard member Lexi Matthews, a Breckenridge High School senior, performs during halftime of the football game against the Eastland Mavericks. Lexi also is the Class of 2022’s Buckaroo Queen. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Anson Rodgers runs for the goal line in Maverick Stadium. Rodgers scored one touchdown in the game, which ended with Eastland winning 28-19. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge running back Jerry Lawson makes a 43-yard touchdown run in the third quarter of Friday night’s game in Eastland. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


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