Breckenridge Texan

Buckaroos suffer first loss of season with Vernon’s 28-21 win

Buckaroos suffer first loss of season with Vernon’s 28-21 win
October 16
14:28 2022

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

Coming off a big 42-0 win over the Iowa Park Hawks a week ago, the Breckenridge Buckaroos were faced with another daunting task in trying to knock off a former 4A school as they took on the Vernon Lions Friday evening in Vernon.

Vernon, who was also 1-0 in District 3-3A play after defeating Clyde a week ago, held the Breckenridge offense at bay for most of the game as they handed the Buckaroos their first loss of the season, 28-21.

The loss dropped the Bucks to 1-1 in district and 6-1 on the season, but with a one-week-at-a-time mentality that has been instilled in the team, the team still controls its own destiny if they have hopes of a playoff berth and possibly a district championship.

“We better be able to soak this in and feel how it hurts because we have cruised along for six weeks thinking something was just going to be given to us,” head coach Casey Pearce said. “Well, it wasn’t, and we got to find a way to get back on track and go back to work and handle our business. We can’t worry about everyone else and what everyone else is going to do in this district.

“We got to get our business back together and can do that because we got fighters,” he continued. “These kids fight and these coaches coach, and we got be able to go find a dang way to get it done. We just got to move forward out of this hole. We are still not out of it.”

The Buckaroos force a fumble by the Vernon Lions in Friday night’s game in Vernon. Click here for more photos from the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

After neither team found much offensive momentum in the first quarter, Vernon forced the Buckaroos to play from behind for the first time all season when the Lions scored on runs of eight yards and one yard for 14 points in the second quarter.

The Bucks would trail 14-0 at halftime after picking up just one first down in the entire first half.

The Buckaroo defense did its job to start the third quarter and forced the Lions to punt after just three offensive plays totaling just three yards.

That defensive effort helped spark the Buckaroos and created some momentum in the third quarter.

Starting the ensuing possession at midfield, the Bucks needed just five plays to go 50 yards and capped the drive off with a 17-yard touchdown run by Anson Rodgers. Sawyer Wimberley connected on the PAT to cut the deficit in half at 14-7 with 8:05 left in the third quarter.

Alexis Franco had two receptions on the drive for 20 yards to help the Buckaroos.

The next Vernon drive saw the Lions run nine plays and moved the ball 52 yards all while chewing up nearly five minutes of the game clock.

The long drive would come to an end after a fumble that was recovered by Lane Castillo. An extra 15 yards on an unsportsmanlike penalty helped aid the Bucks as the started their next drive at the Lion 40-yard line.

Five plays later, Rodgers scored his second touchdown of the game with a one-yard run. Wimberley connected on the PAT, tying the score at 14-14 with 39 second left in the third quarter.

Chase Lehr connected to Adrian Ruiz on a 21-yard pass to help the Bucks on the drive. Rodgers also had a 17-yard run on the first play of the drive.

The Lions had an answer and regained the lead at 21-14 following a seven-play 69-yard drive that ended in a 47-yard touchdown run with 10:06 remaining in the fourth quarter.

After just three plays on the ensuing Buckaroo drive, the Bucks were forced to punt. The Lions were able to break through the line and block the punt, ultimately swinging the momentum of the game.

“They (Vernon) flipped it with the kicking game there in the second half,” Pearce said of the blocked punt. “We have been able to expose people in the kicking game, and we got exposed tonight, which is pretty frustrating. I thought the way we work at it, that would not be where we made a mistake. We made a mistake there, and it cost us tonight.”

Following the blocked punt, the Lions went 38 yards in six plays and ended the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to increase their lead back to 14 points at 28-14 with 7:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The Buckaroos did not give up though and quickly scored two plays into the next drive with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Lehr to Rodgers. Wimberley kicked the PAT, making the score 28-21 with 6:41 left in the game.

The Bucks would have one more chance at a game tying drive as they came away with a fourth down stop and took over with 2:10 left in the game.

Unfortunately for the Buckaroos, two plays later, the Lions intercepted a pass by Lehr and ended the drive and the potential for any additional points for the Buckaroos.

Statistically, the Bucks were held to the lowest offensive output of the season with 54 yards rushing and 99 yards passing for a total of 153 yards.

It was also the highest amount of yards and points allowed defensively as the Lions racked up 311 yards rushing and 111 yards passing for 422 yards.

Cisco’s 27 points and 328 yards (181 rushing and 147 passing) back in week three was the previous season high allowed defensively for the Buckaroos.

Offensively, Lehr completed 9 of 19 passing attempts for 99 yards and had one touchdown and two interceptions.

Rodgers led the Bucks in rushing yards and receiving yards and accounted for all three offensive touchdowns the Bucks scored.

He rushed for 58 yards on 10 carries and had two rushing touchdowns and had two receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown.

“That dude is a warrior. Has fight and plays hard,” Pearce said of Rodgers’ performance Friday evening. “He does everything you ask him to do every day. He does right because Anson is just a great kid. When he shows up in that locker room and they don’t get better because Anson Rodgers is there, they chose not to, because he makes people around him better everyday and every chance he gets.

“Hats off to him because he shows what he’s about,” Pearce continued. “He’s been that way for four years. He was that way under Casey Hubble. Anson is Anson, and I’m sure proud of the way he plays.”

The Buckaroos will host the Jim Ned Indians in their first district home game at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at Buckaroo Stadium.

“It’s going to be exciting to be back home, and we better show up ready to play,” Pearce said on facing Jim Ned. “You know they got us marked on their schedule, and they are planning on coming to whip our tail. We better find a way to fight back.”

District 3-3A Results Oct 14

Jim Ned (4-3, 2-0) 28
Clyde (4-3, 0-2) 21

Vernon (5-2, 2-0) 28
Breckenridge (6-1, 1-1) 21

Iowa Park (2-5, 1-1) 25
Bowie (0-7, 0-2) 22

Oct 21 Games

  • Bowie at Clyde
  • Vernon at Iowa Park
  • Jim Ned at Breckenridge

Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan Photo Gallery from the Oct. 15 Breckenridge-Vernon football game.

The Pride of Breckenridge – Buckaroo Marching Band performs at the halftime in Vernon. On Saturday, Oct. 15, the band competed in the UIL Region 7 Marching Competition in Mineral Wells and earned a 1 – Superior Performance. They will advance to the area contest in Denton next week. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


Cutline, top photo: The Buckaroo defense clears the way for running back Anson Rodgers during Friday night’s game in Vernon against the Lions. Rodgers scored all three of the Buckaroo touchdowns in the game, which ended up as a loss for Breckenridge, 28-21. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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