Breckenridge Texan

Loss to Jim Ned makes winning next two games crucial for Buckaroo varsity football team

Loss to Jim Ned makes winning next two games crucial for Buckaroo varsity football team
October 22
18:34 2023

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

Coming off back-to-back district losses, the Breckenridge Buckaroos had high hopes of getting back into the win column and in the Class 3A playoff hunt as they traveled to Tuscola to take on the Jim Ned Indians Friday evening. Unfortunately for the Buckaroos, the road to any potential playoff berth took a big hit Friday as the Buckaroos fell to 0-3 in district with a 42-14 loss to the Indians.

With two games left to decide the top four teams from the district, the Bucks will need to win the final two games to stay in the playoff conversation.

The Bucks will host Bowie on Oct. 27 before finishing the regular season with a road trip to district-leading Clyde on Nov. 3.

Elsewhere in the district, there are still some crucial games to help determine the district seedings.

Matchups to watch in this week’s (Oct. 27) game include Clyde at Iowa Park and Jim Ned at Vernon. As it sits now, these would be the district’s top four qualifiers for the playoffs as Breckenridge and Bowie would be the ones missing out on a playoff appearance. However, it is high school football after all, and anything can happen.

Buckaroo head coach Casey Pearce stressed the importance of winning the next two games for the Bucks following Friday’s loss to Jim Ned.

“Mathematically, yeah, you could find a way with points and wins and losses, but we got to have help and have to win out,” Pearce said. “We got to win one. We’ve been talking about winning one district game. We have not done that, and we better find a way to win one. Our next shot is next Friday night against Bowie, and that’s what we got to prepare for.”

In Friday’s game against the Indians, it was three untimely turnovers that led to 21 points by the Indians at crucial points in the game that hurt the Bucks’ chances.

“I thought we had some things going early on in the ball game, and turning the football over allowed them to jump out on us,” Pearce said. “We had opportunities to put it in the endzone, and we didn’t get it done. We talk about visits inside the redzone, you better come away with points and when they denied those points on this end of the field with that pick, that hurt.”

Pearce noted the physicality of the play of Jim Ned in the trenches and how it ultimately affected the Buckaroos.

“We physically got beat on tonight again,” Pearce said. “We got banged around and leaned on. The kids didn’t quit. We have to find a way to be more physical. We are searching for that.”

Buckaroo wide receiver Jaime Cruz advances the ball in Friday night’s game against Jim Ned in Tuscola. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Following a punt in each team’s opening possession, the Bucks struck first as they moved the ball 61 yards in five plays and capped the drive off with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Cam Escalon to Braye Cantrell. Sawyer Wimberley, who also had a 21-yard run on the drive, connected on the PAT to give the Bucks a 7-0 lead with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter.

Jim Ned needed just four plays to go 63 yards and answered the Bucks’ touchdown drive with a touchdown of their own as Dean Guffey connected with Carter Wood for a 45-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was good, tying the score at 7-7 with 4:33 left in the first quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Cantrell returned the kick 35 yards to the Jim Ned 40-yard line to set the Buckaroos up with great field position.

Four plays later, the Bucks scored again with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Escalon to Jaime Cruz. Wimberley connected on the PAT, giving the Bucks a 14-7 lead with 2:34 remaining in the first quarter.

The Indians once again answered on their ensuing possession with a quick four-play 55-yard drive that was capped off with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Guffey to Brooks Boyer. The PAT was good, tying the score at 14-14 with 57 seconds left in the first quarter.

Following a punt by each team, the Buckaroos were looking to take the lead once again and moved the ball to the Jim Ned 15-yard line before an interception put an end to the drive.

The Indians answered with a 10-play 77-yard drive that used up 3:50 of the second quarter clock and capped the drive off with a one-yard scoring run by Guffey. The PAT was good, making the score 21-14 with 37 seconds left in the first half.

The two teams traded punts on their first possessions of the third quarter, and on the second possession of the third quarter for the Buckaroos, an interception just three plays into the drive ended the Bucks’ drive.

The Indians would answer on the very first play of the ensuing Jim Ned drive with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Guffey to Wood. The PAT was good, making the score 28-14 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.

Breckenridge was forced to punt on their next series after just three offensive plays.

From there, the Indians moved the ball 61 yards in 13 plays before a 30-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by the Buckaroos.

However, another three-and-out for the Buckaroos led to another punt and the Indians moved the ball another 57 yards in seven plays and capped the drive off with a 20-yard touchdown run by Trey Hicks. The PAT was good, giving the Indians a 35-14 lead with 4:12 left in the game.

Three plays into the next Buckaroo drive, a fumble ended the drive and led to the final points of the game five plays and 34 yards later with a one-yard touchdown run by Guffey with one minute left in the game.

The Buckaroos finished with 123 passing yards and 104 yards rushing on 27 attempts for a total of 227 yards. Jim Ned had 262 yards rushing on 44 attempts and 118 yards passing for a total of 380 yards.

Escalon completed 12-21 passing attempts for 123 yards and had two touchdowns, two interceptions and one fumble.

Wimberley led the Bucks’ rushing attack with 84 yards on 18 attempts.

Brilee Bernal led the Buckaroos receivers with three receptions for 43 yards. Cantrell had two receptions for 40 yards and one touchdown, while Cruz had two receptions for 24 yards and one touchdown.

The Buckaroos will host the Bowie Jackrabbits at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, at Buckaroo Stadium.

It will be senior night for the Buckaroos, and Pearce said it is important to him and the Bucks to send the seniors off with a win.

“We are going to try to finish on a high note for that senior class in Buckaroo Stadium,” Pearce said. “It’s an important night for them. We are going to make it special, and the only way you can make a senior night special is to win a ball game. You’re going to remember that for a long time.”

Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery from the game.

District 3-3A Results

(Winners in bold)

Clyde (8-0, 3-0) 48
Bowie (1-6, 0-3) 21

Vernon (7-1, 2-1) 48
Iowa Park (3-5, 2-1) 27

Jim Ned (6-2, 2-1) 42
Breckenridge (3-5, 0-3) 14

Oct. 27 Matchups

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

District Standings

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

The Breckenridge High School color guard and the Pride of Breckenridge – BHS Marching Band performed at halftime in Jim Ned High School’s stadium on Friday, Oct. 20. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Buckaroo wide receiver Braye Cantrell runs for the goal line for the first Breckenridge touchdown of the night in the game against Jim Ned High School on Friday night. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 9:06 p.m. Oct. 22, 2023, to clarify the receiving stats.

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