Breckenridge Texan

Bucks come up short against defending state champs Jim Ned

Bucks come up short against defending state champs Jim Ned
October 31
12:30 2021

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

Heading into Friday’s matchup with the Jim Ned Indians, the Breckenridge Buckaroos knew they had their work cut out for them.

Facing the No. 1 team in the state of Texas and the defending Class 3A Division I state champions can be no easy task for any team, but the Buckaroos did not lay down easy and went toe-to-toe with the Indians before falling by a final score of 35-12.

It was a night of missed opportunities for the Bucks who had three possessions deep inside the redzone but couldn’t cash it in when needed the most.

“We had chances,” Buckaroo head coach Casey Pearce said. “We played hard and matched up every inch with them. It comes down to attention to details and appreciating and cherishing a possession in the redzone. You better dang sure achieve something when you get it done.”

Pearce noted the need for better execution for the Bucks moving forward.

“Execution. Comes down to practice habits and practice intensity,” Pearce said. “Part of that is athlete, and part of that is coach. All that falls back on me, and it’s going to get straight. We better find a way to execute next week and find a way to get some rhythm next week before we go into the playoffs or it’s going to be a short-lived playoff berth.”

Jim Ned took possession of the opening kickoff and quickly moved the ball 60 yards in seven plays before finding the end zone with a 5-yard touchdown run by Tate Yardley. The PAT was good, making the score 7-0 with 9:35 remaining in the first quarter.

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

Not rattled by the quick score by the Indians, the Buckaroos had an answer with a six-play 63-yard drive that was capped off with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Chase Lehr to Adrian Ruiz. The 2-point conversion was no good, making the score 7-6 with 8:06 left in the first quarter. Anson Rodgers had 33 yards rushing on the drive for the Bucks.

On the ensuing drive, the Indians found pay dirt after a nine-play 55-yard drive that ended with a 6-yard touchdown run by Xavier Wishert. The PAT was successful, and Jim Ned led 14-6 with 4:15 left in the first quarter.

The next Breckenridge possession ended with an interception by the Jim Ned defense, but two plays into the next Indian drive, Buckaroo Alexis Franco came away with an interception of his own for the Bucks.

The Buckaroo offense couldn’t find an answer and was forced to punt and pinned the Indians deep in their own territory.

The defense for the Bucks came away with a stop of their own after holding the Indians to just three offensive plays.

The Bucks moved the ball deep inside Indian territory to the Jim Ned 6-yard line but couldn’t convert on fourth and 1. Lehr had a 48-yard pass completion to Ruiz on the drive.

The Buckaroos defense stops the Jim Ned ball carrier in Friday night’s varsity football game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

Following the stop by the Jim Ned defense, Breckenridge forced a punt and on the punt attempt, Chad Wilcox was able to break through the line and block the punt for the Buckaroos.

With exactly 4 minutes left on the clock in the second quarter, the Bucks had another chance to score and possible tie the game as halftime was nearing, by moving the ball to the Jim Ned 6-yard line. Unfortunately, for the Bucks, it was another missed opportunity as Jim Ned stopped the Bucks on fourth down.

The Indians needed just three plays to go 96 yards and capped the drive off with a 49-yard touchdown pass from Yardley to Braden Lewis. The PAT attempt was good, making the score 21-6 with 59 seconds left in the first half.

The Bucks were forced to punt on their opening drive of the second half, but just two plays into the ensuing Jim Ned drive, Buckaroo Jerry Lawson recovered a fumble for the Bucks.

Breckenridge was able to cash in on the fumble moving the ball 27 yards in five plays. The drive was capped off with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Lehr to Ruiz. The 2-point conversion was no good, making the score 21-12 with 8:37 remaining in the third quarter.

Jim Ned answered with an eight-play 59-yard drive that ended with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Yardley to Lewis. The PAT attempt was good, putting the Indians up 28-12 with 6:19 left in the third quarter.

After back-to-back punts by both teams, the Bucks took over with a minute left in the third quarter and were able to move 57 yards in eight plays with help from Rodgers who had a 31-yard run on the drive and a 25-yard pass completion from Lehr to Zeke Castillo, as well.

With first and goal from the Jim Ned 5-yard line following Castillo’s catch, the Bucks were able to pick up just 2 yards and could not find the end zone on fourth down.

Jim Ned answered with a 97-yard drive that stretched 14 plays and took lasted over 7 minutes of the fourth quarter clock.

The Indians capped off the long drive with 8-yard touchdown pass from Yardley to Troy Doran. The PAT was good, making the score 35-12 with 3:25 left in the game.

A punt was the result of the next Breckenridge drive, and from there, the Indians took a knee and ran out the remaining 1:45 of game clock.

The Bucks finished the game with 102 yards rushing on 30 attempts and had 198 yards passing for a total of 300 yards.

Lehr had all of the Bucks’ passing yards after completing 12 of 27 attempts. He had two touchdown passes and one interception.

Ruiz was the leading receiver with seven catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

Rodgers led the rushing attack for the Bucks with 68 yards on eight attempts.

Jim Ned finished with 250 yards rushing and 158 yards passing for a total of 407 yards.

The Bucks return to action by hosting San Angelo TLCA at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, at Buckaroo Stadium. It will also be senior night.

District 3-3A Results

Jim Ned (9-0, 4-0) 35
Breck (3-6, 2-2) 12

Wall (5-3, 3-1) 35
Clyde (1-8, 1-3) 0

Early (7-2, 2-2) 72
SA TLCA (0-9, 0-4) 0

Nov. 5 Games

  • Jim Ned at Clyde
  • Wall at Early
  • TLCA at Breck

The Pride of Breckenridge – Buckaroo Marching Band performed their competition show during halftime of Friday night’s game. in Tuscola. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Breckenridge High School band, under the direction of BHS Band Director William Odom, performs in Indian Stadium on Friday night. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge wide receiver Adrian Ruiz runs for the goal line in Friday night’s game against the Jim Ned Indians. He scored both of the Buckaroos’ touchdowns in the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 


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