Brahmas get first win, face Boling

East Bernard running back O’drick Thomas rushes the ball Friday night during the Brahmas 35-7 homecoming victory over Danbury.

It’s been four years since the Boling Bulldogs (5-1, 3-0) have been district foes with the East Bernard Brahmas (1-6, 1-2). However, the in-county rivals will restart that district rivalry this Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

The Brahmas have owned the rivalry over the last decade, winning all 10 games by an average score of 37-6.

Boling is hoping this year will be a little different, and that they are the team to knock off the Brahmas. East Bernard’s hopes of making the playoffs rely on playing well the rest of the season and beating Boling will go a long way to helping stay in the hunt.

“Their stats and scores don’t matter. I know they’re 1-6, but they’re still personally a good team to me,” Boling senior lineman Tracy Taylor said. “I’ve been watching a lot of film on them and they’re going to come and play. We’ve only beat them twice in 12 years and coach told us in the weight room they don’t wanna be that team that gets beat by Boling.”

East Bernard has a young team and they are allowing 31 points a game this season. The defense found its footing against Danbury, holding them to seven points and to fewer than 165 yards of total offense.

“Kids have worked hard all year long, great to get the win on Friday night,” East Bernard head football coach Wade Bosse said. “(It was) good to see that we got out of our own way (less mistakes) to give ourselves a chance to be successful.”

Danbury could only muster 29 rushing yards, averaging just over one yard a carry last Friday night against East Bernard. The Brahma defense forced a turnover with sophomore Ty Domel recovering a fumble.

The Brahma defense will have their hands full with the Bulldogs running game.

Boling junior running back Ryan O’Neal leads Wharton County and the district in rushing yards with 1,341 yards and 17 touchdowns. O’Neal against Rice Consolidated last week had 140 yards rushing on two carries.

“I went crazy, but I couldn’t do it without the offensive line. They opened the holes, I (saw) it and I hit it. I don’t know, I’m just doing what I’m supposed to as a running back,” O’Neal said with a smile.

O’Neal finished the game with the first 300-yard game of his career without playing the fourth quarter.

The Boling junior had to break one tackle on his first two runs with the offensive line plowing the field in front of him. In total, the Bulldog offense has run the ball for 2,509 yards.

“We’re pretty stacked throughout the offensive line,” Taylor said. “We’re a pretty solid group. We have pretty good mass on us. We’re pretty decently strong. Opening holes for (O’Neal is easy), it could be the tiniest hole in the world but he’ll still squeeze through and make 10, 15, 20 yards out of it.”

Like the offense, the Boling defense has been playing well, in district they’ve yet to allow two touchdowns. The Bulldogs in their last four games haven’t given up more than seven points.

“Boling has a very confident, experienced team that plays hard,” Bosse said.

Boling’s defense allowed yards last to Rice Consolidated but they held firm when they needed to, stuffing them six times on fourth down.

“It’s a running joke around here. We like to give up a touchdown and then we shut them out,” Boling head football coach Kevin Urbanek said. “(Offense and defense are) great groups of kids. Defensively, they just fly around. They’re smart, they communicate and that’s the biggest thing on defense.”

While East Bernard was winless until last Friday, now the Brahmas have some confidence behind them. Helping East Bernard offensively was zero turnovers last Friday. East Bernard junior quarterback Clayton Fajkus has completed nearly 50 passes for 613 yards. Brahma junior wide receiver Maddox Crist leads the team with 223 yards. East Bernard’s rushing attack is led by sophomore Alex Henriquez with more than 400 yards. In their win against Danbury, fellow sophomore Malik Thomas had a strong game with three touchdowns.

First win

After an ugly 0-6 start to the season, the East Bernard Brahmas broke into the win column in style, routing the Danbury Panthers 35-7 for homecoming Friday night.

The Brahmas mixed passes and rushes for 208 yards of offense to the Panthers’ 162. Malik Thomas was on fire, scoring two of the Brahmas four touchdowns in the first half and adding one more in the fourth quarter. Alex Henriquez started things off with a 10-yard scoring run, followed a short time later by Weston Swoboda with a 4-yard touchdown run.

Thomas scored from two yards out in the second quarter. When the Brahmas kicked off after the touchdown, the Panthers muffed the reception, giving East Bernard the ball at the 2-yard line. A few second later Thomas was again carrying the ball into the end zone.

Danbury got on the scoreboard with a minute to go in the third when Mason Ahart rushed in from five yards out. Thomas capped the scoring on the night with a 3-yard score early in the fourth quarter.

East Bernard (1-6, 1-2) is on the road next Friday at cross-county rival Boling.

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