IOWA COLONY – The East Bernard Brahmas beat the Ganado Indians in district play earlier in the season. With the stakes much higher last Friday, Dec. 6 at Alvin ISD’s Freedom Field, the Brahmas again came out with the win over their foes, 30-10, winning Region 4 for the second straight season.
“It’s special for these kids,” East Bernard coach Wade Bosse said. “This is what they wanted to do and they worked extremely hard to (get here). We’re glad to be here, but by no means are we satisfied. We’re going to go to work and give it our best effort next week and see what happens.”
It was a tale of two halves for East Bernard’s running attack. In the first, the wing-T offense broke big runs and they quickly raced out to a 30-10 lead. Ganado responded in the second half and shut down the Brahmas’ offense. The good news for East Bernard, the defense tossed its own shut out in the second half and they held on for the win.
“It was a dogfight all the way though honestly,” senior defensive back Carson Little said. “We came out strong in the first half. We didn’t score in the second half, but we came out and did our job on defense and that’s all that matters.”
In the second half, Ganado moved the ball but the Brahmas held. The defense orchestrated a goal line stop and picked off three passes as Ganado continued to try and find a weakness, but couldn’t.
The Indians’ lone touchdown came on short field position after East Bernard had its punt blocked. Ganado recovered the ball at the five-yard line and two plays later scored to make the game 23-10.
Special teams played a key role in the Brahmas jumping out quickly. On the opening kickoff off Ganado muffed the kick, when it finally recovered the ball, East Bernard tackled the Indians in the shadows of their own goal post.
After a quick three and own, Ganado brought on the punt team. With the field shortened, the snapper sent the ball over the punters head and out of the end zone for a safety.
East Bernard with the ball for the first time, didn’t need much time to add to the 2-0 lead. Senior running back Tanner Baggett following his lead blocker, broke through the line and ran 55 yards for the score and with 9:37 seconds left in the first quarter the Brahmas were leading 9-0.
On their next possession, the Brahmas again hit on a long play. Junior running back Devin Chapmen on the first play of the drive, scored from 30 yards out on a run up the middle.
It looked like a blowout was coming with East Bernard leading 16-0 in the first quarter, However, Ganado came into the Class 3A Division II fourth round game, averaging just over 40 points a game and it started to get going.
The Indians behind, freshman quarterback Kyle Bures-Guerrero engineered a nine-play drive that got them into the red zone. On third down, the East Bernard defense got a pass break up from Little in the end zone, saving a touchdown, Ganado to a field goal.
The East Bernard defense shut down Ganado’s running game, holding it to 3.1 yards a carry. With the Indians forced to pass almost exclusive after falling behind quickly, Bures-Guerrero threw the ball for 197 yards.
“Our defense really stepped up today,” Little said. “We’re not really a pass coverage defense but I thought we did a pretty good job. They only got a few big plays on us and we’ll get better from here.”
East Bernard answered the field goal with its own long drive. Behind Chapman runs, the Brahmas pounded the ball down the field. Chapman capped off the 10-play drive, scoring from nine yards out.
Senior running back Kameron Matthews got East Bernard’s final touchdown, on a one-play, 70-yard touchdown late in the second quarter.
The offense pounded out 219 yards on the ground. However, the majority of the offense came on few big plays. Baggett had a team-high 84 yards rushing and one touchdown on 10 carries.
Roland Orsak provided game summary.