Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge Buckaroos to kick off district schedule against Clyde tonight

Breckenridge Buckaroos to kick off district schedule against Clyde tonight
October 08
08:54 2021

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

The Breckenridge Buckaroos are ready to kick off the District 3-3A Div. I portion of their 2021 schedule this evening, Oct. 8, as they host the Clyde Bulldogs at 7 p.m. in Buckaroo Stadium.

After starting out with high hopes and a positive outlook for the 2021 campaign, the Bucks head into district with a 1-4 record with their only win coming in the season opener against the Jacksboro Tigers.

Even though the season record at the midway point does not reflect the anticipated winning record, the progress to continue to get better each week has still been evident each week the Bucks took the field.

The Buckaroos endured a brutal non-district schedule with three of the five teams they faced ranked inside the top 10 of their respective classifications.

The first half of the season also saw COVID-19 flex its muscles as the Bucks were left scrambling for an opponent in week two after Ballinger canceled the day before the homecoming game. The Bells Panthers traveled about three hours to come play the Bucks and were the spoiler in the Buckaroos’ homecoming festivities.

For weeks three through five, the Bucks were on the road with trips to Cisco, Eastland, and Holliday.

Breckenridge came up short in overtime in what would have been an impressive statement-making upset win over the Cisco Loboes. The next week, the Eastland matchup was a defensive battle in the first half and later saw Eastland pull away with a 28-19 win.

The Bucks played Holliday close in the first half and trailed by one point (13-12) at halftime, before being shut out by the Eagles as they dropped their fourth straight game, 34-12.

Despite the 1-4 record, the Bucks have a chance to erase all the not-so-great memories of those losses and start fresh with a district-opening win Friday.

In several of the non-district games, the Bucks were in a position late in the game to pick up a win but were unable to close out the game in the second half. That is something head coach Casey Pearce says the team needs to improve.

“We had a good non-district schedule that we played out. We competed. We got to learn to win,” Pearce said. “We got to learn finish and execute in the second half and finish ballgames. We have been in too many that we didn’t win. We have to find a way to win when it comes down to it.”

Pearce said that improvement has been made over the past five weeks leading up to district play.

“The physicality and competitiveness is there. We just got to find a way to win a ball game,” he said. “It’s got to happen this week.”

Over the course of the bye week, Pearce said, the focus has been on what they can control as team.

“We concerned ourselves with us,” Pearce said. “Execution and efficiency has been on top of the order. Defensively, matching third and long situations with defensive effort, and thought about the situation. It’s been a lot of situational football and a lot of execution and rhythm on the offensive side.”

The Buckaroos head into district play averaging 25.4 points per game.

With the struggles 2020 brought offensively and the ability to put points on the board, Pearce said, the production is up compared to a year ago, but the redzone efficiency is still an area for improvement.

“The offensive production has been somewhat better, but the redzone production is not up to standard yet,” Pearce said. “We are going continue to work to improve that and find a way to execute where it really counts.”

Defensively, the Bucks head into district allowing 31.8 points per game.

Pearce said coming away with stops on third down and getting the ball back to the offensive will be a key point throughout district play.

“Giving up explosive plays has been a problem for us and untimely penalties,” Pearce said. “We have had some pass interference penalties against us that prolonged a drive. We have had opportunities to take the football away. Things like the ball being on the ground or a dropped pick. Those things always seem to come back to bite you. Opportunities have presented themselves. We got to be able to take advantage of them.”

Heading into district play, both Early and Jim Ned sit at 5-0, while Wall is at 2-2; Breckenridge 1-4; and Clyde and San Angelo TLCA both are searching for their first win of 2021.

The strength of schedule for Early and Jim Ned is very different with Jim Ned opponents having a combined record of 16-10, while Early’s opponents have a combined record of 8-17.

“I think Jim Ned’s 5-0 record is a different 5-0 than Early’s because of strength of schedule,” Pearce said. “I believe that everybody is chasing Jim Ned this year. Wall is a good football team, and they have played good opponents as well. I think Wall’s schedule and our schedule are very similar in opponents that we have gotten after. Jim Ned has played everybody, except our district opponents, that we have played. It says a little bit about this area and what people think about opponents.

“Clyde, Early, TLCA and Breckenridge, all in the same group, but Wall and Jim Ned are a little bit different,” he said. “Wall has won, they understand how to win, they’ve got a great scheme. Jim Ned…they’ve got something to prove to defend that (state) title. The rest of us are chasing those two.”

Pearce said to have a chance at the Class 3A playoffs, the Bucks will need to win their district opener Friday against Clyde.

“We got to win the first one,” Pearce said. “If we don’t win the first game, we don’t have a shot. We better approach it one game at a time.”

Clyde will look to use their RPO-based offense to keep the Buckaroos off balance Friday.

“You’re going to see them try to run the quarterback in the run game,” Pearce said. “They are a RPO-based offense, so you are going to see the ball thrown probably 35-40 times.”

Through the first five games, the Bucks are averaging 25.4 points per game while allowing 31.8 points per game.

The Bucks’ leading rusher is Jerry Lawson, who has rushed for 269 yards on 58 attempts and had six touchdowns. Chase Lehr has 171 yards on 49 carries and one touchdown, while Anson Rodgers has rushed for 125 yards on 29 attempts and one touchdown.

Lehr has completed 68 of 96 passing attempts for 630 yards and has five touchdowns and one interception.

Rodgers is the leading receiver for the Bucks with 14 receptions for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Zeke Castillo has six receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown, while Lawson has 14 receptions for 99 yards and one touchdown.

 

Oct. 8 vs. Clyde 0-5

Offensive Points per game – 10.8

Defensive Points per game – 37.6

Offensive team leaders

Rushing:

(Attempts-yards-touchdowns)

Austin Hastings- 65-184 2 TD

Blake Carr- 66-144 0 TD

Passing:

(Attempts-completions- yards)

Blake Carr 73-142 826 6 TD  5 INT

 Receiving:

(Receptions-yards-touchdowns)

Chris Hurley- 12-237 2 TD

Garis Gray- 12-213 2 TD

Connor Hawk- 12-182 1 TD

Jackson Huff- 19-153 0 TD

 

Oct. 15 at Early 5-0

Offensive points per game- 53

Defensive points per game- 11

Offensive Leaders

Rushing:

(Attempts-yards-touchdown)

Trey Beam- 75-577 9 TD

Kaleb Ozuna 23-98 2 TD

Passing:

(Attempts-Completions-yards)

Jaxyn Price 78-125 1,108 17 TD 1 INT

Receiving:

(Receptions-yards-touchdowns)

John Stewart Gordon 17-299 3 TD

Jeremy Brown 26-282 3 TD

Tre Beam 7-156 3TD

KJ Houston 6-117 2 TD

Cedrick Morelan4-113 2 TD

 

Oct. 22 vs. Wall- 2-2

Offensive points per game- 20.25

Defensive points per game- 26

Offensive Leaders

Rushing:

(Attempts-yards-touchdowns)

Dominic Garcia 70-412 4 TD

Gabe Haskins 26-97 3 TD

Passing:

(Attempts-completions-yards)

Gabe Haskins 19-36 233 2 TD 2 Int

Receiving:

(Receptions-yards-touchdowns)

Jacob Richardson 11-100 2 TD

 

Oct. 29 at Jim Ned 5-0

Offensive points per game- 39.2

Defensive points per game- 14

Offensive Leaders

Rushing:

(Attempts-yards-touchdowns)

Xavier Wishert 97-937 10 TD

Sergio Hernandez 27-189 2 TD

Passing:

(Attempts-completions-yards)

Tate Yardley 33-65 620 9 TD 1 Int

Receiving:

(Receptions-yards)

Blaine Palmer 10-221 3 TD

Braden Lewis 11-200 4 TD

 

Nov. 5 vs. San Angelo TLCA (0-5)

Offensive points per game- 13.8

Defensive points per game- 38.6

Statistical data not available

 

Statistical numbers as reported by Big Country Preps website.

 

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge High school Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Casey Pearce talks to his players during their game against the Jacksboro Tigers, the first game of the 2021 season. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 


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