Breckenridge Texan

Buckaroos’ victory over Benbrook ends pre-district play with winning record

Buckaroos’ victory over Benbrook ends pre-district play with winning record
September 24
11:57 2023

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

Coming off a big homecoming win over the Eastland Mavericks a week ago, the Breckenridge Buckaroos played the spoiler Friday evening as they traveled to Fort Worth to take on the Benbrook Bobcats on their homecoming.

The Buckaroos handed the Bobcats their first loss of the season with the 36-28 game at Fort Worth ISD’s Herman Clark Stadium.

At the start of the season, Buckaroo head coach Casey Pearce had several goals to achieve in non-district play before the Bucks got into the district 3-3A portion of the season. One of those goals was to have a winning non-district record.

The Bucks achieved that goal as they finished the non-district schedule with a 3-2 record, their two losses coming in the first two games of the season. That was one of the many positives Pearce noted following Friday’s win.

“I’m super proud of this group of men and super proud of this staff,” Pearce said. “The continuity and work ethic has improved over the last five weeks. They have figured each other out, and they dang sure care about one another.”

Pearce credited the defensive coaches and the game plan that was in place as a contributing factor in Friday’s win.

“I’m proud of the way the defensive staff got a plan together tonight, and we were balanced in our alignment and were able to get after people tonight,” he said. “We got two home games coming up with Iowa Park and Vernon, and we better be ready to defend Buckaroo Stadium.”

It was that defensive plan of attack that helped set the Bucks up with their first points Friday night as Alexis Franco put an end to the opening Bobcat drive with an interception just two plays into the game.

Three plays and 21 yards later, Joseph Juneau connected with Sawyer Wimberley for the Bucks’ first score of the game. Wimberley’s PAT was not good, giving the Bucks an early 6-0 lead with 9:55 remaining in the first quarter.

The Buckaroo defense takes down a Benbrook Bobcat ball carrier during Friday night’s game in Fort Worth. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Bobcats responded with a long 12-play 47-yard drive that ended with a 42-yard field goal by Andy Garcia, cutting the Buckaroo lead in half at 6-3 with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter.

The next Buckaroo possession ended with a punt, and Benbrook put together another long drive with a 12-play 46-yard drive that ended with a 33-yard field goal by Garcia to tie the score at 6-6 with 8:24 left in the second quarter.

The Bucks scored their second touchdown of the game by capping off a 46-yard six-play drive with a six-yard touchdown run by Jack McKay. Wimberley’s PAT was good to give the Bucks a 13-6 lead with 6:28 remaining in the first half. Wimberley also had 24 yards rushing on the drive.

The Buckaroo defense forced a punt on the ensuing Benbrook drive, leading to a nine-play 79-yard drive by the Buckaroo offense that ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Camden Escalon to Brilee Bernal. Wimberly connected on the PAT, making the score 20-6 with 22 seconds left in the first half.

Aided by a great starting field position, the Bucks took their opening drive of the third quarter 53 yards in nine plays and capped off the drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Escalon to Franco. Wimberley’s PAT was good, giving the Bucks a 27-6 lead with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter.

The Bobcats cut the deficit to 27-12 with an 84-yard touchdown pass from Collin Thompson to Kade Cross two plays into their next drive. On the PAT, Jaxson Escalon blocked the PAT, and Braye Cantrell scooped it up and ran 87 yards for a safety to make the score 29-12 with 7:20 left to play in the third quarter.

After a punt by both teams, the Buckaroos scored what ended up being their final points of the game as they capped off a six-play 69-yard drive with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Escalon to Franco. Wimberley’s PAT was good, giving the Bucks a 36-12 lead with 1:53 remaining in the third quarter.

Benbrook used up the final 1:53 of the third quarter and another 46 seconds of the fourth quarter on their next possession, which covered 75 yards in nine plays and ended with a eight-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Cross. Thompson connected with Cross on the two-point conversion, cutting the Buckaroo lead to 36-20 with 11:14 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Just three plays into the ensuing Buckaroo drive, Benbrook recovered a Buckaroo fumble and was able to turn it into points as Thompson scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Thompson connected with Cross on the two-point conversion to make the score 36-28 with 6:58 left to play in the game.

Looking to answer and shift the momentum, the Buckaroos moved the ball 50 yards to the Benbrook nine-yard line, but a delay of game penalty on second down and a incomplete pass on third down led to a 31-yard field goal attempt by Wimberley. The field goal was blocked by the Bobcats, giving the ball back to Benbrook with 2:41 left to play in the game.

Buckaroo wide receiver Alexis Franco runs for the goal line Friday night. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

With help from two 15-yard penalties, the Bobcats moved the ball 67 yards in four plays to the Buckaroo 10-yard line on the ensuing possession, but as the Bobcats looked to score and possibly tie the game, Douglas White recovered a fumble for the Buckaroos to help seal the victory as the Bucks took over with 1:13 left remaining in the game.

With Benbrook having two timeouts remaining, the Bucks were forced to pick up a first down to help run out the clock. Wimberley broke free for 13 yards and a first down. From there, the Bucks lined up in the victory formation and took a knee.

The Buckaroos finished with 244 passing yards and 150 yards rushing for a total of 394 yards, while Benbrook had 211 yards passing and 205 yards rushing for a total of 416 yards.

Escalon completed 15 of 17 passing attempts for 354 yards and had three touchdowns, while Juneau completed four of six passing attempts for 20 yards and had one touchdown.

Wimberley led the Bucks’ rushing attack with 126 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown. He also had three receptions for 48 yards and one touchdown.

Franco led the Buckaroos in receiving yards with five receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Bernal had seven receptions for 62 yards and one touchdown.

The Buckaroos will have an opportunity to regroup and heal any injuries over the next two weeks as they have an open date next week before starting the district portion of the schedule on Oct. 6 against Iowa Park in Buckaroo Stadium.

The Bucks will have another home game against Vernon on Oct 13 before traveling to Tuscola to take on Jim Ned on Oct. 20. Bowie will be the final home game of the season on Oct. 27 before closing out the district schedule on the road at Clyde on Nov. 3.

The Breckenridge Texan will have a full district preview prior to the Bucks’ district opener on Oct. 6.

District 3-3A Opponents Results

(District opponents in bold)

Vernon (5-0) 42
Burkburnett (2-3) 7

Wichita Falls (1-4) 30
Iowa Park (1-4) 16

Clyde (5-0) 41
Sweetwater (4-1) 7

Eastland (1-4) 21
Jim Ned (4-1) 19

Childress (3-2) 41
Bowie (1-3) 13

Breck (3-2) 36
Benbrook (4-1) 28

 District Standings

  1. Clyde – 5-0
  2. Vernon – 5-0
  3. Jim Ned – 4-1
  4. Breckenridge – 3-2
  5. Iowa Park – 1-4
  6. Bowie – 1-3

Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery from Friday night’s game against the Benbrook Bobcats at Herman Clark Stadium in Fort Worth.

The Breckenridge High School marching band and color guard performed for the Benbrook crowd during half-time Friday night. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Buckshot and the Buckaroo cheerleaders celebrated Friday night’s victory against the Benbrook Bobcats. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Following an interception by Alexis Franco and a pass from quarterback Joseph Juneau, Buckaroo running back Sawyer Wimberley scored the first touchdown of the game in Fort Worth on Friday, Sept. 22, against the Benbrook Bobcats. Click here to see more photos from the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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