Golden Bears cool after scoring first 3 touchdowns
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Brackenridge did a 180-degree turnaround in Saturday’s District 28-5A game at Alamo Stadium. Edison seemingly had the Eagles on the ropes early in the game, but Brack dominated the second half for a 48-31 victory.
“On both sides of the ball, we were playing hard,” Brackenridge senior quarterback Antonio Lopez said. “But we needed to step it up a notch. We weren’t playing Brackenridge football.”
The Eagles (1-2, 1-0) scored the game’s final 20 points, including a clinching six-yard touchdown run from Trey Mathis (150 yards, 19 carries) with 1:09 left. Like the Golden Bears, Brackenridge had lost its first two games.
“We were on a two-game slide,” Brackenridge coach Willie Hall said. “We didn’t get off to a good start (tonight), but we were able to get the win.”
Brackenridge lost a shootout to Jay 66-45 in Week 1 and fell 34-28 at Devine Sept. 5 in its first two games. Edison’s style was more similar to Jay’s and the Golden Bears (0-3, 0-1) began the game pushing the pace.
“Devine plays more of a power game, running the football,” Hall said. “Edison is more wide open, they spread you out. So you have to be ready to cover the whole field. They’re both good football teams.”
Edison produced the game’s first three touchdowns as senior Jonathan Hernandez (12 of 23, 240 yards) passed twice to Bryan Bolton and once to Michael Benavidez for scores.
Bolton had three catches for 17 yards in Edison’s first two games. He finished with 153 yards on seven receptions, catching touchdown passes of six and 29 yards for the game’s first two scores.
“He has the ability to have games like this,” Edison coach Albert Torres said. “He’d had bad luck as far as that, but Bryan had a great offseason. He got stronger. He’s had to play both ways, so that’s slowed him down a little bit.”
In his first varsity action, sophomore back Matthew Garcia enabled Edison to achieve offensive balance. Garcia made an immediate impact and finished with 145 yards on 30 carries.
Garcia carried the ball six times as the Golden Bears scored on the game’s opening drive. He ran five times for 33 yards on Edison’s second scoring drive, including a 20-yard dash into Brackenridge territory.
“He’s something,” Torres said. “We’ve kind of had our eyes on him for a while. Due to injuries, we had to bring him up. He still has to get better, but I was pleased with his effort.”
The Eagles tied it in the third quarter, only to fall behind again. Recovering a fumble at their own 2 early in the fourth quarter turned the tide. Two plays later, Lopez (20 of 28, 382 yards) found Lee Terrell for a 99-yard score.
“We knew they weren’t going to relax,” Torres said. “Our goal was to continue scoring. They’re explosive.”
Facing a three-touchdown deficit with 9:01 left in the first half, Brackenridge had little choice but to throw the ball.
The Eagles got on the board with a 45-yard pass play from Lopez to Macco Marble, who reversed field after the catch to shake off a defender. Lopez completed nine of 10 passes for 169 yards in the second quarter.
A seven-yard touchdown run from Mathis tied it 28-28 with 5:26 remaining in the third quarter.
The Golden Bears were only able to add a 26-yard field goal from Joseph Delgado after intermission. In addition to the fumble recovery, Brackenridge stopped them at its 10 with 5:42 left and the Eagles ahead 41-31.
“Brack’s a good team. Coach Hall does a great job with them,” Torres said. “Coming in we knew, No. 1, they had speed and, No. 2, they were going to throw the ball.
“They mixed coverages up on us and made it tough to make some passes.”
Edison matched Brack’s first touchdown with a 14-yard scoring pass from Hernandez to Steven Sanchez with 5:10 left in the first half. The Eagles kept pace. Lopez threw to Marble in the left corner of the end zone, for a four-year touchdown.
“Anthony’s been an asset to us,” Hall said. “When he was behind Ramon (Richards, the Eagles quarterback the previous two years), we knew he’d come up and play well. He was the one that really got us rolling.”
Terrell (230 yards, 7 receptions) also scored on a 76-yard pass play, after breaking two tackles. That touchdown brought Brackenridge within 28-21 at halftime.
Lopez threw the ball about 30 yards down the left sideline and the speedy senior did the rest. This time, Terrell was wide open when he received the pass.
After Delgado’s field goal and the second-half bomb to Terrell, Brackenridge got a leaping touchdown pass from Jordan Beasley on a 10-yard toss from Lopez.
“Brack averages nearly 500 yards of offense,” Torres said. “They’ve put points up on a lot of people. You always game plan to stop them or slow them down. The idea wasn’t to get into a shootout with them.
“We knew they weren’t going to relax. Our goal was to continue scoring. They’re explosive.”
On their final drive, the Eagles put their aerial display to bed and let Mathis run the ball to eat time off the clock. The senior back picked up most of his rushing yards on the possession, which started at the Brackenridge 5.
“(The running game) definitely makes it a little easier,” Lopez said. “I’ve got great wide receivers and a great line, so that helps everything we do.”
Brackenridge and Harlandale were considered the top two preseason contenders for the district title.
“We’re not going to be satisfied with just this one win,” Lopez said.