Anderson's big rushing game powers Brownwood past Alvarado

Mike Lee
Special to the Bulletin
Brownwood running back Konlyn Anderson approaches the sideline after scoring a touchdown against Burnet on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.

ALVARADO – Konlyn Anderson rushed for 230 yards and five touchdowns, and Brownwood converted all three Alvarado turnovers into touchdowns as the Lions beat the Indians 56-35 Friday night.

Quarterback Chance Jones threw touchdown passes of 40 yards to Case Markham that converted a third-and-20 and 30 yards to Thad Hinds that came on fourth-and-9 as Brownwood ended a three-game losing skid.

Markham, primarily a defensive back who had missed multiple football games with a concussion, had caught just one pass for 4 yards prior to Friday.

The win put Brownwood, which improved to 3-5 overall 1-2 in District 5-4A Division I, back in playoff contention. If Brownwood can beat Waxahachie Life next week, the Lions will secure their 13th consecutive playoff berth. Alvarado fell to 2-6 and 1-2, and the Indians are now a longshot to make the postseason.

Alvarado actually gained more total yards than Brownwood by 492-423, but the Indians lost three turnovers and the Lions converted them into 21 points, which turned out to be their margin of victory. Brownwood’s Brandon Holland and Quentin Thompson recovered Alvarado fumbles, and Jason Jackson intercepted a pass for the Indians’ third turnover.

“We gave up some yards and points tonight, but Alvarado has moved the ball against everybody,” Brownwood coach Sammy Burnett said of his postgame show on radio station KOXE. “We felt like we had to score on every possession because they were going to limit our possessions with the ball control style they play. But they scored quickly a few times and made it a higher scoring game.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our kids. They kept fighting through the ups and downs of the game and played to the end.”

Anderson carried 34 times and scored on runs of 8, 6, 22, 41 and 15 yards. The junior back extended his season totals to 1,472 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight games.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about our offensive line,” Anderson said during a postgame radio interview. “Our O-line was smashing them the whole game. They made it easy for me. Chance has been making more plays (in the running game), and that has opened it up for me.”

Jones finished 8-of-10 passing for 113 yards and the two touchdowns that converted the long-yardage situations. The junior quarterback also rushed for 31 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown.

“Chance did a great job of managing the game,” Burnett said. “They were going back and forth between zone and man-to-man defense, and Chance did a great job of adjusting and reading their defense. He takes his opportunities to run. Tonight he threw well on the hitch passes, and that helped us spread them out on defense.”

Jackson, the Lions’ leading receiver this season, caught just one pass for 6 yards. But the two-way Brownwood junior logged an interception on defense and recovered an onside kick after Alvarado had pulled within 42-35 with 7:39 to play.

Senior Elias Huerta-Doud led the Lions in receptions Friday with four catches.

Jayden Bridgewater, a 5-foot-2, 140-pound junior, led Alvarado’s offense with 256 yards and two touchdowns rushing. Alvarado quarterback West Conner, a 5-5, 130-pound junior, passed for 141 yards, including touchdowns of 23 yards to Blake Bledsoe and 11 yards to Oliver Monrose that came on fourth-and-2.

Monrose’s first reception this season pulled the Indians within 42-35 with 7:39 left, but the Lions scored the final 14 points to pull away.

After Jackson recovered the ensuing onside kick, Brownwood drove 56 yards and scored on Jones’ 30-yard pass to Hinds that extended the Lions’ lead 49-35 with 3:16 left.

After Jackson’s interception, Anderson broke a 15-yard touchdown run that made it 56-35 with 1:11 left.

“We were trying to score in that situation because of the district tie-breaker rules,” Burnett explained. “There’s a 15-point ceiling on the tie-breaker and we were trying to maximize our points. You never know when you’re going to need the tie-breaker. That’s the same reason why when Alvarado had the ball at the end, they kept calling timeouts down to the final four seconds.”

The Indians jumped to leads of 7-0 and 14-7, but Brownwood gained control by converting the two fumble recoveries into touchdowns. Holland’s recovery set up Anderson’s 6-yard touchdown run that tied the score 14-14 with 2:12 left in the first quarter.

The Lions gained their first lead at 21-14 after a defensive stop and an 11-play, 80-yard drive that Jones finished with his 1-yard touchdown run with 7:23 left in the second quarter.

Thompson’s recovery led to Anderson’s 2-yard touchdown run that extended the Lions’ lead to 28-14 with 5:52 left in the second quarter.