Breckenridge Texan

Buckaroos score Homecoming win over Mavericks

Buckaroos score Homecoming win over Mavericks
September 18
10:10 2023

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

In front of a packed crowd at Buckaroo Stadium, the Breckenridge Buckaroos evened their season record Friday evening to 2-2 with a 41-35 win over the Eastland Mavericks.

It was Homecoming week for the Buckaroos with several activities that took place throughout the week to celebrate, including the crowning of the Homecoming Queen, Haylie Mendoza, at halftime of Friday’s game. The Homecoming King, Cam Escalon, was announced during a pep rally at noon on Friday.

For Breckenridge High School alum and Buckaroo Head Coach Casey Pearce, there was excitement on his end to be able to come away with a Homecoming win.

“Class of ’93. It’s been 30 years for me. It’s exciting,” Pearce said. “We had a great pep rally today and full stands on our side (tonight). You can’t ask for a better arena to play in than Buckaroo Stadium.”

Breckenridge High School Head Coach Casey Pearce talks to the team during Friday’s Homecoming game against the Eastland Mavericks. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

A fast and efficient start was key for the Buckaroos as they built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter with the first score coming three plays into the game as Cam Escalon connected with Alexis Franco on a 75-yard touchdown pass. Sawyer Wimberly connected on the PAT, and just 53 seconds into the game, the Bucks held a 7-0 lead.

A blocked punt by the Buckaroos on special teams helped set the Bucks up in Eastland territory for their next offensive possession.

Five plays later, Escalon connected with Brilee Bernal on a 38-yard touchdown pass. Wimberley’s PAT made the score 14-0 with 7:59 left in the first quarter.

An interception by Jaime Cruz ended the next Maverick drive deep inside Buckaroo territory. The Buckaroos moved the ball 94 yards in 13 plays en route to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Escalon to Wimberley. Wimberley’s PAT made the score 21-0 with 17 seconds left in the first quarter.

“I thought, offensively, we were pretty balanced early,” Pearce said of the early 21-0 Buckaroo lead. “I thought we were able to throw it and run it early and were able to take advantage of some (defensive) looks. Cam Escalon, Sawyer (Wimberly), Frank (Alexis Franco), (Caiden) Marin, (Bryson) Herring…Those dudes make plays. That set the tone and gave us a little cushion. “

Buckaroo wide receiver Brilee Bernal catches a pass from quarterback Cam Escalon for the second Breckenridge touchdown of the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Eastland got on the board on their ensuing drive with a seven-play 75-yard drive that was capped off with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Isaiah Hayes to Jay Oznick. The PAT was good, making the score 21-7 with 9:33 left in the second quarter.

After a punt by both teams, the Bucks found the endzone again with a 73-yard touchdown run by Wimberley. Wimberley’s PAT attempt was good, making the score 28-7 with 5:03 remaining in the second quarter.

The Mavericks had an answer though, scoring on back-to-back possessions with a 20-yard touchdown run by Eddie Medina and an 82-yard touchdown pass from Hayes to Oznick. The Mavericks cut the Buckaroo lead to 28-21 with 43 seconds left to play in the first half.

It took just one play for the Buckaroos to find the endzone once again as Escalon connected with Wimberley for a 78-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the next Buckaroo drive.

Breckenridge would take a 35-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Mavericks cut the lead back to seven points (35-28) on a quick three-play drive to start the third quarter that ended with a 42-yard touchdown pass from Hayes to Oznick.

Buckaroo wide receiver Alexis Franco evades the Maverick defense in Friday night’s game. Click here to see a photo gallery from the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Bucks answered with a nine-play 57-yard drive that was capped off with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Escalon to Franco. Wimberley’s PAT was no good, making the score 41-28 with 7:22 left to play in the third quarter.

Eastland answered with a long 14-play 75-yard drive that used up over five minutes of the third-quarter clock and ended with another touchdown pass from Hayes to Oznick, this time on fourth down. The PAT was good, making the score 41-35 with 2:22 left in the third quarter.

A defensive battle would ensue as the Maverick defense came away with a fourth down stop after the Bucks put together an 11-play drive that stretched 53 yards deep inside Maverick territory to the eight-yard line.

The Bucks forced a punt on the next Eastland drive, but just four plays into their next drive, a fumble put an end to the drive which started at the Maverick 40-yard line.

Needing a score to tie or possibly take the lead, the Mavericks went on a long 14-play 78-yard drive that used up over five minutes of the fourth quarter clock and saw the Mavericks convert a fourth down along the way.

However, it was the Buckaroo defense that stood its ground with their backs against the wall and game on the line, as the defense came away with a huge fourth-down stop.

From there, the Bucks were able to run out the final 1:33 left in the game and seal the victory.

“We have some things to handle in the secondary, but those were 50/50 balls and those were pretty dang good balls,” Pearce said of Eastland’s passing attack. “We got to live with it and go on, but we got to get better. It starts with us on Monday.”

The Breckenridge defense takes down Eastland running back Cason Browning on Friday night in Buckaroo Stadium. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Buckaroos finished with 354 passing yards and 175 yards rushing for a total of 529 yards, while Eastland had 384 yards passing and 115 yards rushing for a total of 499 yards.

Escalon completed 15 of 21 passing attempts for 354 yards and had five touchdowns.

Wimberley led the Bucks’ rushing attack with 116 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. He also had five receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

Franco led the Buckaroos in receiving yards with four receptions for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Bernal had three receptions for 46 yards and one touchdown.

The Bucks will close out non-district play against the Benbrook Bobcats at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22. The game will be played at Fort Worth ISD’s Clark Stadium.

The Bobcats are 4-0 heading into the game with wins over Sanger (49-26), Iowa Park (34-28), Mineral Wells (35-20) and Bridgeport (28-14).

“We got a tough one coming up. It’s a tale of two seasons,” Pearce said of the Bobcats. They (Benbrook) are whooping people and taking names. It’s going to be a different environment for a lot of these kids playing in a city school. So, we better figure out what we are about to get to hear and see and get ready to respond. We want to have a good work of week and be ready to go.”

District 3-3A Opponents Results

(District opponents in bold)

Vernon (4-0) 29
Idalou (1-3) 22

Graham (4-0) 67
Iowa Park (1-3) 6

Clyde (4-0) 56
Ballinger (0-4) 0

Jim Ned (4-0) 38
Rockdale (1-3) 12

 Burkburnett (2-2) 34
Bowie (1-2) 21

Sept. 22 Matchups

  • Breckenridge at Benbrook (FWISD Clark Stadium)
  • Iowa Park at Wichita Falls High
  • Vernon vs Burkburnett
  • Clyde at Sweetwater
  • Jim Ned at Eastland
  • Bowie at Childress

With so much going on during Friday night’s game, as well as the week leading up to the game, Breckenridge Texan Publisher/Photographer Tony Pilkington has posted three Photo Galleries:

Friday night’s game against the Eastland Mavericks was Breckenridge High School’s 2023 Homecoming, with many girls, including Homecoming Queen Haylie Mendoza, center, sporting elaborate mums. Click here to see a photo gallery of Homecoming activities. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge running back Sawyer Wimberley runs for the goal line in Friday night’s game against the Eastland Mavericks. Wimberley scored three touchdowns in the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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