Breckenridge Texan

Buckaroos score win over Bowie on Senior Night

Buckaroos score win over Bowie on Senior Night
October 29
16:39 2023

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

On a night filled with excitement that included the senior football and volleyball players, the cross-country team and band members, as well as the cheerleaders and helmet crew, honored prior to the game for Senior Night, the Breckenridge Buckaroos needed to pick up a much-needed win to send the seniors off on the right note Friday evening as they hosted the Bowie Jackrabbits.

The Buckaroos escaped with a 28-21 win over Bowie to pick up their first District 3-3A win of the year with one game left to play in district. The win improved the Bucks to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in district.

Buckaroo wide receiver Jaime Cruz advances the ball in Friday night’s game against the Bowie Jackrabbits. Cruz scored two touchdowns in the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Elsewhere in the district, Iowa Park defeated the Clyde Bulldogs 21-13 to hand Clyde their first loss of district and first loss the season. Jim Ned narrowly defeated Vernon 36-32.

Friday’s game against Bowie for the Buckaroos came down to one final defensive stop on what ended up being Bowie’s final drive of the game.

The Bucks were leading 28-21, when Bowie took possession of the ball with 2:30 remaining in the game following a failed fourth down conversion by Breckenridge and moved the ball 59 yards to the Buckaroos’ two-yard line. A false start penalty by Bowie moved the ball back to the Buckaroo seven-yard line.

Two plays later, Braye Cantrell came away with an interception in the endzone to help seal the victory for the Bucks.

“This group is a bunch of battlers, and it’s been that way all year,” head coach Casey Pearce said of the defensive stop. “We had to start the fight tonight and had to finish the fight. They found a way to do that tonight. It was an ugly win, but a win is a win. No matter what it looks like, it’s a W on paper, and we needed to be able to go into next week with a smile on our faces and a lit B.”

With Clyde’s loss to Iowa Park, the district championship is still up in the air for District 3-3A, and the Buckaroos have a chance to shake up the standings in district.

“It gives us an opportunity to go play and be a spoiler next week,” Pearce said. “Apparently, some crazy things have happened tonight. It doesn’t really matter. It’s about us, and we are banged up. We are going have to find pieces to fit this puzzle and try to do something next week.”

Pearce said it was great to get a win for the seniors on senior night.

“I’m proud to send these seniors out of Buckaroo Stadium with a win because not every senior gets to do that,” Pearce said. “I’m proud to do that. They are quality workers and show up to work and show up with a purpose. I’m proud of the way they go about their business.”

In Friday’s game against Bowie, the Buckaroo defense came away with a stop on fourth down and the offense cashed that in on the first possession of the game with a 13-play 64-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown run by Alexis Franco. Benny Escobedo connected on the PAT to give the Bucks an early 7-0 lead with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter.

The Buckaroo defense forced a punt on the next Bowie drive, and the offense capitalized on it with a eight-play 55-yard drive that was capped off with an eight-yard touchdown run by Jaime Cruz. Escabedo’s PAT was good, giving the Bucks a 14-0 lead with 11:55 left in the second quarter.

The Jackrabbits answered with a 14-play 75-yard drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Justin Clark. The PAT was good, making the score 14-7 with 5:41 remaining in the second quarter.

Three plays into the ensuing Buckaroo drive, a fumble put an end to the drive as the Jackrabbits came away with the ball.

The Buckaroo defense takes down the Bowie ball carrier in Friday night’s game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington / Breckenridge Texan)

Four plays and 11 yards later, the Jackrabbits found the endzone again with a two-yard touchdown on fourth down by Martin. The PAT was good, tying the score at 14-14 with 3:12 left in the second quarter.

The Buckaroos moved the ball 32 yards to the Bowie 20-yard line before a series of penalties ultimately pushed them back to the Bowie 46-yard line. The Bucks were unable to convert fourth and 36 right before the halftime break.

Following the band’s Black Out Show performance at halftime, the Bucks scored on their opening possession of the third quarter after moving the ball 77 yards in seven plays on a drive that was capped off with a seven-yard touchdown run by Cruz. Escobedo connected on the PAT to give the Bucks a 21-14 lead with 8:51 remaining in the third quarter.

Bowie didn’t have to run another offense snap to score their next points of the game as Jax Johnston returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was good, tying the score at 21-21 at the 8:36 mark of the third quarter.

The Buckaroos moved the ball 74 yards in 18 plays to the Bowie one-yard line on the ensuing possession but came away with no points after failing on fourth down.

Buckaroo Caiden Marin came away with a strip on the Jackrabbits first play of the drive and returned it the ball to the one-yard line.

One play later, Franco scored the Buckaroos’ final points of the game on a one-yard touchdown run. Escobedo connected on the PAT, to make the score 28-21 with 56 seconds left in the third quarter.

Both teams had two possessions each in the fourth quarter that ended on fourth down before the final Bowie drive that ended with an interception by Cantrell.

The Buckaroos finished with 117 passing yards and 222 yards rushing on 43 attempts for a total of 339 yards. Bowie had 210 yards rushing on 52 attempts and 23 yards passing for a total of 233 yards.

Escalon completed 14 of 22 passing attempts for 117 yards and also had 32 yards rushing on seven attempts.

Cruz led the Bucks’ rushing attack with 100 yards on 16 attempts and two touchdowns, while Alexis Franco had 62 yards on 18 attempts and two touchdowns as well.

Marin was the Bucks’ leading receiver with four receptions for 43 yards, while Brilee Bernall had two receptions for 29 yards.

The Bucks will face the Clyde Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at Bulldog Stadium, in Clyde.

Click here to see the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery from the football game. Click here to see the Photo Gallery from the Pride of Breckenridge – Buckaroo Marching Band’s Black Out performance during halftime.

District 3-3A Results

*Winners in bold

Iowa Park (4-5, 3-1) 21
Clyde(8-1, 3-1) 13

Jim Ned (7-2, 3-1) 36
Vernon (7-2, 2-2) 32

Breckenridge (4-5, 1-3) 28
Bowie (1-7, 0-4) 21

 Nov. 3 Matchups

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

District Standings

1. Clyde- 3-1
1. Iowa Park 3-1
1. Jim Ned 3-1
2. Vernon 2-2
3. Breck 1-3
4. Bowie 0-4

The Buckaroo varsity football team and their fans celebrate the 28-21 victory over the Bowie Jackrabbits. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The Buckaroo varsity football team and their fans celebrate the 28-21 victory over the Bowie Jackrabbits. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

During halftime of Friday night’s game — the last home game of the season — the Pride of Breckenridge – Buckaroo Marching Band was decked out in all sorts of lights and glow sticks. The stadium lights were turned out for the annual Black Out performance. Click here to see more photos from the show. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Buckaroo wide receiver Alexis Franco gains some yardage for Breckenridge during Friday night’s game against the Bowie Jackrabbits. Franco scored two of the Buckaroos’ four touchdowns in the 28-21 win over Bowie. Click here to see more photos from the game. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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