Confidence and a desire not to lose to the Boling Bulldogs for the first time this decade has the East Bernard Brahmas (2-6, 2-2) riding a two-game winning streak as they head into a matchup against the Van Vleck Leopards on the road Friday night.

“Winning against Boling showed us that we’re a pretty good team and we have what it takes to beat better teams,” East Bernard senior Keegan Cavness said.

East Bernard has played a tough schedule this year, but their loss to Brazos was tough to take and turned their season around.

“Losing to Brazos really fueled us up. Losing to Brazos isn’t a common theme in East Bernard,” Cavness said.

“Practice the past two weeks the intensity has picked up greatly,” East Bernard senior Reid Morton said.

“We get hyped during offense and defense, the scout team is coming off the ball and we’re pancaking each other and we’re just having a lot of fun bonding together.”

East Bernard normally is a run-heavy team, but against Boling, they showed off their passing strength with 200 yards through the air. East Bernard head football coach Wade Bosse was impressed with the way the offensive line held serve and didn’t allow much pressure on junior quarterback Clayton Fajkus.

“They’ve done a real good job and what they did the other night was allow Clayton to stand back there and throw the football and see. I think he might have gotten pressured three or four times but then he tucked and ran it,” Bosse said.

The Brahma offensive line is counting on three underclassmen with junior center Cannon Goudeau, junior guard JT Martinez and sophomore quick tackle Tamarcus Sanders. Two seniors round out the group in strong tackle Austin Norton and guard Korbyn Hudgins.

Van Vleck will test how far East Bernard has come this past two weeks. Like Boling, Van Vleck’s offense has been electric with over 3,000 yards this season.

Van Vleck senior running back Cam Austin is one of three district runners with more than 1,000 yards rushing. Van Vleck senior quarterback Sam Brooks has been accurate for the Leopards completing 58 percent of his passes, the best in district and he has only thrown one interception this season.

East Bernard won’t be able to lock on one wide receiver as Brooks has five receivers with at least seven catches and no one has caught more than 10 to date.

When East Bernard needed it last week, they came up with an interception with senior Rolando Robles getting intercepting a pass to end the game. Morton has the Brahmas’ only other pick this season.

If the Brahmas can grab a win over Van Vleck it will go a long way to making sure they will be in the playoffs.

Brahmas beat Bulldogs

The Boling Bulldogs fell to East Bernard 35-31 Friday night in a hard-fought back and forth game.

The Bulldogs seemed to have things in hand in the third quarter, but the Brahmas battled back late for the win. The first half was very competitively played. It was a new look Brahma team that started the game with nine passing attempts in their first 10 plays, but they turned it over on downs with an incompletion on fourth down to end their first drive.

The Bulldogs took the ball and went 69 yards in seven plays, and Ryan O’Neal found the end zone from 11 yards out for the score, giving the Dogs a 7-0 lead with 5:32 left in the first quarter.

The Brahmas struck back, going 58 yards in 11 plays, and cashing in with a 10-yard touchdown pass on 4th and goal to tie the game at 7 on the first play of the second quarter. It seemed that the Brahmas had no answer for the Boling running game as the Dogs went 75 yards in nine plays on the next possession, and Trenton Jones pounded into the end zone from nine yards out to put the Dogs up 14-7 with 6:36 left in the half.

The Brahmas passing attack kept the chains moving and they put together a 51-yard drive for a touchdown after a very short kickoff by the Bulldogs. The score tied the game 14-14 with 2:48 left in the half. 

The Bulldogs put together a two-minute drill, going 80 yards in 10 plays using 2:09 of the remaining 2:48, with O’Neal finding the end zone again from eight yards out for his second touchdown of the game, and the Dogs’ third touchdown in three possessions. The Brahmas ran out of time and the half ended with the Dogs leading 21-14.

The Bulldogs got the ball first to start the third quarter. A muff on the kickoff pinned them deep at their own 8 yard line, but they did not falter. They went 92 yards in 14 plays, consuming eight minutes of the third quarter, and Jerrick Garcia barreled in for the touchdown from three yards out to give the Dogs a 28-14 lead.   

The Brahmas got a long run on the opening play of the next drive, going all the way down to the 9, and the quarterback ran it in on fourth and goal from the three to put them back within one score at 28-21.

The Brahma defense got their first stop of the game, forcing a Bulldog punt. After a personal foul penalty, the Brahmas took over at the 30 and completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 28 at the end of the third quarter.

The Bulldogs battled back, driving down to the red zone, but they stalled again and settled for a 29-yard field goal from Urbanek to regain the lead 31-28 with 8:04 left to play. 

In one of the most bizarre calls one will ever see, the Bulldogs appeared to block a Brahma punt, but the officials give the ball back to East Bernard at midfield after the recovery. The Brahmas took advantage, scoring on a 34-yard touchdown pass putting them up 35-31 with 2:35 left to play.

The Bulldogs moved the ball, but fell short in their last drive as the Brahmas intercepted an Urbanek pass attempt at the 19 yard line. The Brahmas ran three more plays and got one final first down to close things out 35-31.

O’Neal had a solid night, amassing 203 yards on 29 carries and scoring two touchdowns, but the Brahmas passing attack was just a bit more than the Bulldogs could stop.

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