Brownwood opens against Needville at 8 a.m.
COLLEGE STATION — For the second year in a row, the Brownwood Lions posted a 1-2 record in pool play action at the 7-on-7 Division II state tournament and will compete in the 32-team consolation bracket.
The Lions tallied a 26-19 victory over Rockport-Fulton, but fell to Brock, 26-13, and Giddings, 24-18 in overtime, in Thursday action.
Brownwood begins consolation bracket action at 8 a.m. today against Needville on Field 5A.
“The good news is we get to play tomorrow and that’s win or go home,” said Lions first-year head coach Kyle Maxfield, who observed Thursday’s action. “Last year I think it was five games so we could keep going back-to-back-to-back, continuing to get reps and get better. Our kids definitely deserve to be here, they earned the right and they need to realize it’s not over. We need to come out with a good attitude tomorrow and try and win five in a row.”
Quarterback McLane Moore completed 52 of 94 passes — 59 percent — with nine touchdowns and five interceptions Thursday. Clayton Bertrand was 5 of 11 in limited action.
Leading receivers included Tristin Revada with 10 grabs and three touchdowns; Crystan Wright with nine receptions; Gavin Jefferson with eight catches and a score; Nick Salazar with six grabs and two trips to the end zone; Jeremy Brown with six catches and a touchdown; Corleone Pressley with a half dozen grabs; Jordan Ortega with four catches and two trips to the end zone; Braden Jetton with three receptions; Harley Price with two catches and a touchdown; Blaine Hughes with a pair; and Grant Fanara with one grab.
On defense, the Lions pulled down six interceptions — three each in the first and final games. Brown tallied two picks, Hughes added a pair and Fanara and Jefferson collected one apiece.
“At times we were clicking on all cylinders, but then we’d get going and sputter a little bit,” Maxfield said. “We weren’t nearly as consistent as we needed to be to get to the championship bracket, but I thought our effort was great. We still have some things we need to get cleaned up before Friday nights, though.”
Giddings 24, Lions 18, OT
In the finale against the Giddings Buffaloes — who the Lions will face in Week 5 of the regular season — Brownwood rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half to force overtime.
Down 18-6 with 15 minutes left, Moore — who was 20 of 33 with three touchdowns and three interceptions — led the Lions on a four-play scoring drive capped by a Price touchdown catch that closed the gap to 18-12.
After a Giddings three and out, the Lions marched 45 yards in five plays as Revada caught the game-tying touchdown.
Brown then picked off a pass and the Lions had a chance to grab their first lead since 6-0, but Moore was intercepted in the end zone.
Hughes then recorded another interception of the Giddings quarterback, but the Lions went three and out with two minutes left.
Giddings had the final possession and a personal foul was called on Brownwood on the final snap. Receiving an extra down, Giddings failed to end the game in regulation as Jefferson recorded an interception that forced overtime.
The Lions had the first possession in overtime and Moore connected with Pressley on a 14-yard gain, just shy of the goal line. Two plays later a Moore pass was deflected and intercepted.
Giddings responded by scoring on fourth and goal on its lone possession to notch the victory.
“I’m most proud of seeing our kids compete to the very last play in our last game against Giddings,” Maxfield said. “We got a bad break there at the end and you don’t always get all the calls, but we kept our heads up. I felt like Corleone got in but the referee didn’t see it that way. It’s a game of inches.”
Lions 26, Rockport-Fulton 19
The Lions’ lone victory came in their second pool game Thursday, and they had to rebound after squandered a 12-point edge.
Brownwood raced out to a quick 19-7 advantage by scoring on its first three possessions. Moore — who was 19 of 29 with four touchdowns and two picks — hit Jefferson for a 45-yard score on the first play and added scoring tosses to Salazar and Ortega before intermission.
Down 19-7, Rockport-Fulton scored just before halftime and turned its secodnd possession of the second half — which followed an interception — into points, knotting the score at 19.
Another pick allowed Rockport-Fulton to advance inside the Lion 5, but the Brownwood defense held its ground.
The Lion offense answered with an eight-play drive that ended with the game-winning touchdown pass from Moore to Revada in the closing minutes.
Rockport-Fulton went three and out on its final drive after the potential tying touchdown was erased due to the play beginning before the whistle signaled the start of action.
“I thought we really bounced back well the second game,” Maxfield said. “Rockport didn’t execute as good as Brock did on either side of the ball and we took advantage of that and made plays.”
Brock 26, Lions 13
In the pool play opener, the Lions intercepted three passes but were only able to reach the end zone twice in a loss to the reigning Class 3A Division I state champs.
Brock hung a pair of touchdowns on the board, while Brownwood failed to score on its first two drives and faced an early 13-0 deficit.
An interception by Brown ignited the Brownwood offense as Moore — who was 15 of 33 with three touchdowns — connected with Revada to close the gap to 13-6.
Brock responded with a touchdown before halftime to establish a 19-6 cushion.
Moore connected with Ortega on a touchdown during the Lions’ first possession of the second half to make the score 19-13, then Fanara picked off a pass.
The Lions, who were plagued by six dropped passes in the game, went three and out.
Another pick by Hughes gave the ball right back to the Lions, but again Brownwood was unable to pull even or take the lead.
Brock’s next possession resulted in its fourth touchdown with just over three minutes left, and the Lions went three and out on their final possession before time expired.
“We just started off really slow in the first game,” Maxfield said. “We had a couple of miscues on both sides of the ball.”