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Broncos finally buck Knights

November 24, 2018

With a roster dotted with freshmen and sophomores making key contributions, Brandeis’ future appears bright.The present isn’t too bad, either.Brandeis, showing mettle beyond its years, started and closed strong and defeated longtime nemesis Steele 31-16 on Friday in a UIL Class 6A Division II second-round contest at the Alamodome.It was Brandeis’ first win in six attempts - all during the playoffs - over Steele (8-4) and marked Steele’s earliest playoff exit since losing to Austin Lake Travis 27-20 in the second round in 2009.Brandeis (10-2) withstood Steele’s second-half comeback, with the crucial moments coming with four minutes remaining. Trailing 21-16, Steele had a fourth-and-goal from the Broncos’ 6-yard-line, but Brandeis defensive back Brent Malone intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 30 yards. Three plays later, quarterback Jordan Battles connected with wide receiver Brandon Pake for a 70-yard touchdown.The Broncos recovered a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff that no Steele player fielded, and six plays later kicker Xavier Lopez drilled a 44-yard field goal for the final outcome.Steele pulled within 21-16 with 11:41 left in the game when quarterback Wyatt Begeal connected with wide receiver Daniel Jackson on a 55-yard touchdown pass. A two-point conversion run failed.Steele got no closer, though, as its final two possessions ended with turnovers.Brandeis led 14-0 on the strength of two time-consuming drives and strong defense in key situations. The Broncos took the opening kickoff and marched 79 yards in 12 plays, chewing up more than six minutes, before Battles scored from 1 yard out on fourth down. Brandeis also had a 10-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up 5 minutes and ended with Malone’s 2-yard run.Wagner 56, Corpus Christi Ray 17CORPUS CHRISTI - Sophomore fullback L.J. Butler rushed for a career-high 287 yards to go with four touchdowns to lead Wagner to a 56-17 victory over Corpus Christi Ray in a Class 5A Division I second-round playoff on Friday at Buccaneer Stadium.Butler scored on runs of 42, 60, 7 and 56 yards as the Thunderbirds rolled up 559 yards of total offense.The Thunderbirds (11-1) will face Corpus Christi Flour Bluff in the regional semifinals at a time and site to be determined.Wagner had 502 rushing yards on 46 carries. Senior quarterback Tobias Weaver gained 112 yards on seven carries. He opened the scoring with a 25-yard run in the first quarter and had a 27-yard TD pass to Andre Booker, also in the first quarter.Wagner led 35-10 at halftime and scored touchdowns on its first eight possessions.After Weaver’s 25-yard scoring run, Ray tied the game at 7 on an 8-yard TD run by quarterback Brad Breckenridge.John Vela made a 27-yard field goal that pulled Ray to within 14-10 in the first minute of the second quarter. Then it got away with Butler scoring from 42, 60 and 7 yards in the second quarter to make it 35-10 at halftime.Ray found some success in the air passing for 306 yards. Breckenridge completed his eight passes for 159 yards in the first quarter. He finished at 21 of 36 for 268 with one interception. He was also sacked seven times.David HinojosaLaVernia 28, Lampasas 21In the end for Lampasas, La Vernia quarterback Clayton Chadwick was simply too much.Chadwick, a senior, ran for 286 yards and four touchdowns and passed for an additional 157 yards as the Bears (11-1) knocked the Badgers (7-5) out of the playoffs with a 28-21 win in the Class 4A, Division I area round Friday at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.“That’s a really good football team we played again,” said Lampasas coach Troy Rogers, referencing the meeting between the two schools in week four which La Vernia won 51-50 in overtime. “I thought we played a lot better this time around, but they just played a little better than us.”La Vernia never led in the game until the fourth quarter, even though it out-gained the Badgers by 152 yards and made them punt eight times, as a missed field goal and two turnovers on downs inside the Lampasas 30 hampered it.But Chadwick scored three times during a six-minute span over the third and fourth quarters and the Badgers never threatened to tie the contest in their final two possessions.“(Chadwick) is a special talent,” Rogers said. “He can throw it, and with his legs he can keep a play alive longer than any quarterback I’ve ever seen. And when you get guys to him, I don’t know if you can tackle him with one person. He’s just a heck of a football player.”Lampasas took a quick 7-0 lead as it marched 96 yards on the game’s opening possession that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Ace Whitehead to Cameron Everts.The Bears responded on their ensuing drive when Chadwick crossed the goal line from the 8 before the game saw six punts and a turnover on downs the next seven possessions.The Badgers broke the scoreless steak just before halftime when Whitehead made a brilliant 29-yard scoring run.Chadwick had touchdown runs of 50 and 12 yards late in the third that sandwiched another scoring pass from Whitehead to Everts — this one from 39 yards — as the game entered the final frame tied at 21.La Vernia’s winning touchdown came early in the fourth when Chadwick out-sprinted the Badgers defense 71 yards to the end zone.“I’m super-proud of this team,” Rogers said. “The seniors have done such a great job. The program was 1-9 two years ago, 2-8 last year, so to get the second round of the playoffs is a credit to the seniors and leadership we had. We’ll miss those guys.”Whitehead ended with 171 yards passing and 64 rushing for the Badgers, with Everts hauling in five passes for 121 yards.Whitehead, Everts and running back Jack Jerome, who had 69 yards on the ground, will all be back for Lampasas next fall.“We have a good group of young guys who are hungry,” Rogers said. “Now that they know what the postseason is all about, I think that bodes well for the future.”Colby Gordon

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