Breckenridge Texan

Victory over Early Longhorns moves Buckaroos to 2-0 in district play

Victory over Early Longhorns moves Buckaroos to 2-0 in district play
October 17
17:21 2021

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

Following last week’s District 3-3A opening win over the Clyde Bulldogs, the Breckenridge Buckaroos had momentum on their side heading into this week’s matchup against the Early Longhorns. The Bucks took advantage of that momentum and now have a 2-0 record in district, something that hasn’t been achieved since 2017.

With the 37-20 win over the Early Longhorns on Friday night in Early, the Buckaroos have essentially locked themselves into the 2021 playoffs.

Buckaroo Jerry Lawson runs for the goal line in Friday night’s game against the Early Longhorns. To see more photos from the game, click here for the Breckenridge Texan Photo Gallery.  (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

After a grueling non-district schedule, the confidence that comes with being 2-0 in early district play is building as the district portion of the schedule plays out.

“It brings a ton of confidence to the team (being 2-0),” head coach Casey Pearce said. “We played very good competition in non-district, and we played in every ball game and had opportunities. Finally, we have finished two games. Finishing has been what has been lacking, and it has been lacking for a couple years. To see it start to gain a little momentum, we are heading in the right direction, but there are a lot of things we got to get done.”

The Bucks host the Wall Hawks in their next game on Friday, Oct. 22. Wall was defeated by Jim Ned 37-19 to drop to 1-1 in district play.

In Friday’s game against Early, Breckenridge started the game with the ball and moved 76 yards in 10 plays and converted a fourth down attempt en route to the games first points. Chase Lehr connected with Zeke Castillo for a 31-yard touchdown with 7:14 left in the first quarter. Jerry Lawson ran in for the 2-point conversion, giving the Bucks an early 8-0 lead.

Early quickly responded with an eight-play 70-yard drive (aided in part with a 49-yard pass) that ended with a 3-yard run by Tre Beam. The Longhorns converted the 2-point conversion to tie the score at 8-8 with 4:50 left in the first quarter.

The Bucks answered right back with a long drive that chewed up all but 10 seconds of the remaining 4:50 of the first quarter.

The Buckaroos moved 75 yards on 12 plays and capped the long drive off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jerry Lawson. Lawson rushed in for the 2-point conversion to put the Bucks back on top 16-8.

Anson Rodgers had a 27-yard reception and a 20-yard run on the drive to help the Bucks move the ball down the field.

The Longhorns moved the ball 26 yards in nine plays on their next drive, but the Buckaroo defense came away with a big stop on fourth down to end the drive.

The Bucks cashed in on the opportunity to go up two scores on the ensuing possession as they moved the ball 55 yards on 12 plays and ended the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Lawson with 3:53 left in the second quarter. Lehr connected with Xander Silva for the 2-point conversion to put the Bucks up 24-8.

On the ensuing drive, the Longhorns moved the ball deep into Buckaroo territory and had the ball first-and-goal at the Buckaroos’ 9-yard line. With the help of a holding penalty, the Buckaroo defense came away with a huge stop as Lawson sacked Early’s Tucker Hale for a 10-yard loss.

Breckenridge running back Anson Rodgers evades the Longhorns in Friday night’s game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

With Early set to get possession of the ball to start the second half, the Buckaroos’ two big defensive stops – the one right after the Bucks’ second touchdown that took the score to 16-8 and the crucial stop just before halftime – proved to be key turning points in the game and gave the Buckaroos continued momentum heading into halftime

“It gave us a chance to get into some rhythm and gave the ball back to our offense and gave them (the offense) another shot,” Pearce said. “Stops in this district are going to be huge. We got to find ways to continue to get them.”

The Buckaroos’ energy continued to build as the defense came away with a fourth-down stop on Early’s opening possession of the second half.

On the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive, Lehr connected with Lawson on a 44-yard touchdown pass. Benny Escobedo successfully kicked the PAT, putting the Bucks up 31-8 with 10:13 left in the third quarter.

“The first five minutes of that second half are pivotal every time you come out,” Pearce said of the fourth down stop and touchdown to follow. “Those kids answered the call tonight. Kicking the ball off, getting a stop, getting the offense back on the field and getting a score changed the ball game. Going in (at halftime) knowing they were going to get the ball in the second half, getting that stop to end the half and then getting the one to start it, changed the whole complexion of the ball game. It put them in the hurry up and catch-up mode.”

Following the Buckaroo touchdown, Early moved the ball 73 yards in 17 plays, converting two fourth downs to keep the drive alive and found the endzone with a 1-yard touchdown run by Tre Beam. The 2-point conversion was no good, making the score 31-14 with 3:16 left in the third quarter.

The Early touchdown did not faze the Bucks as they went on a long 17 play 78-yard drive that chewed up the remaining 3:16 of the third quarter and another roughly five minutes of the fourth quarter.

The Bucks converted two fourth-down attempts of their own and found the end zone on fourth and goal with a 10-yard pass from Lehr to Rodgers. The 2-point conversion failed, making the score 37-14 with 7:18 remaining in the game.

Early moved the ball to the Buckaroo 11-yard line, but the Bucks’ defense came away with another fourth-down stop.

A quick three plays and punt ensued on the Buckaroos’ next possession which led to a three-play 21-yard drive by Early.

The Longhorns capped that drive off with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Hale to Ki Houston. The 2-point conversion failed, making the score 37-20 with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bucks recovered the onside kick attempt and were able to run out the rest of the clock.

Breckenridge finished with 213 yards passing and 185 yards rushing for 338 yards of total offense.

Lehr completed 17 of 20 passing attempts for all the Bucks’ passing yards. Rodgers led the team in receiving yards with 90 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown. He also rushed for 29 yards on five carries. Castillo had three receptions for 48 yards and one receiving touchdown.

Lawson led the rushing attack with 83 yards on 20 carries and had two rushing touchdowns. Lawson also had one reception for 44 yards and a receiving touchdown.

Early finished with 182 yards passing and 130 yards rushing for a total of 312 yards.

District 3-3A Results

Jim Ned (7-0, 2-0) 37
Wall (3-3, 1-1) 19

Clyde (1-6, 1-1) 61
SA TLCA (0-7, 0-2) 22

Breck (3-4, 2-0) 37
Early (5-2, 0-2) 20

Oct. 22 matchups

  • SA TLCA @ Jim Ned
  • Wall @ Breckenridge
  • Early @ Clyde

All district games start at 7 p.m.

The Pride of Breckenridge – Buckaroo Marching Band performed at halftime of the game in Early. On Saturday, they competed in the Regional UIL Marching Band Contest in Mineral Wells and earned a Superior rating (1) and will advance to the Area competition. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Buckaroo Zeke Castillo drags an Early Longhorn with him as he crosses the goal line in Friday night’s game in Early. The Buckaroos won their second district game of the season, 37-20. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

To see more photos from the game, click here for the Breckenridge Texan Photo Gallery.

 


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