Three Yards and a Cloud of Sadness, BCS loses, 32-28
The Bracken Warriors lost by the slimmest of margins, Saturday in
losing, 32-28 to Abilene Christian Panthers in Semi-Final action at Moody, Texas.
“Sometimes you have heard it said that you can get a victory out of defeat,” Head Coach Lloyd Fields said. “In this game I can say that this Bracken team did not quit and played with pride to get the game to within four points and that close to a winning score on the final play.”
The ‘Hail Mary’ was actually hard to do based on a 30-40 mile per hour winds in Quarterback Eli Achilles face on that final play.
Four seconds was the time showing on the scoreboard with BCS needing 50 yards to see another day on the gridiron.
Senior Grady Achilles had raced down the left sideline while brother Eli was dodging tacklers in order to make a final play.
The pass found the hands of Grady Achilles on the 25 yard line and the race was on for a chance to play another week.
Grady Achilles was pushed out of bounds just three yards from the goal line, the same number that had graced the young man’s jersey for the past four years, and no time showing on the clock.
This was a battle of two titans that very easily could of been played for the State Championship…
The Bracken defense was led by Cornerback Ty Zunker with 14 tackles as he was left on an island covering one of the many good receivers that ACS put on the field.
Defense would finally have some kinks in their armor, which would make sense based on facing a team that averaged 65 points a game.
The Panthers struck first on a run of nine yards by DosSantos, which was the only run in the first quarter with only three runs total for the half, by this pass happy offense.
Abilene passed 31 times on 15 completions of 155 yards for the half. During that same time period the Panthers also enjoyed a 20-6 lead over Bracken Christian.
“We had a talk at halftime,” Coach Fields fielded. “I told them, that I don’t care what you do, but leave it all on the field in the second half.”
BCS did answer the first score after an Eli Achilles interception, Grady Achilles had a one play drive rushing through the Panther defense for 45 yards and tying the score, 6-6 with 5:29 still left in the first quarter.
Bracken would not cross the goal line until the 8:21 mark of the third quarter. The 17 minutes of silence was the longest Bracken had been held from scoring for the season.
The Grady Achilles 58 yard run did however close the gap to, 26-12 after the Panthers opened the second half increasing the lead 26-6.
Bracken got their second interception on Abilene’s next drive setting the ball up on the 33 yard line.
Grady Achilles got the call for another patented 33 yard run, which was fitting since this young man was the player causing the turnover.
The score was now, 26-20 after a Kevin Knapick bonus kick.
One key to this contest was on the drive for Abilene that started with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Panthers had a 15 play drive covering 70 yards and ACS scoring with four minutes left in the game.
There was a pivotal part of the drive that Bracken faithful wish they could of changed.
A first down and 25 yards for a first, after a holding penalty, Beltran found Fernandez on the next play for 24 yards, setting up a second down and one, on Bracken’s eight yard line.
After Abilene got a first on their next running play, the Panthers found themselves just six yards with a chance to increase the lead to a two possession game.
Three runs to the one yard line, set up a Beltran to DosSantos pass play for one yard and a dagger for many teams except for a Championship team that still had not given up the ship, the score was now 32-20.
Abilene kicked the ball out of the end zone with the wind giving BCS 60 yards of real estate for a touchdown. The kick was the first of the game for the Panthers that was not an onside kick.
After two pass plays for six yards, Eli Achilles took things into his on running 54 yards down the left sideline for a quick answer, taking just 48 seconds and leaving plenty of time to comeback.
Knapick was good on his bonus kick, closing the gap to four points, 32-28.
Abilene converted a third and 13 on their next drive helping the Panthers run more precious seconds off the clock.
The Warriors finally held after Beltran ran around for seven seconds in the backfield before throwing an incompletion and giving Bracken one last chance from their 30 yard line with four seconds.
Three things of note that you might think the game would favor Bracken:
BCS won the turnover battle 3-2
BCS did not fumble any on-side kicks
BCS only had four penalties for 35 yards
BCS had 15 drives in the game which supplied the offense enough chances to put points on the board.
Bracken just could not break away with enough yardage to keep possession and apply pressure resulting in points.
“There is no one else I would of wanted to play with this season,” Senior Austin Wilkinson said in retrospect.
“I love this team and I will always love them,” Senior Kevin Knapick said after reflecting on four years of great times.
The game was just not in the cards for Bracken Christian as they will now say goodbye to several Seniors that were a cornerstone for the future players of the program to live up too.
The ReSporter will have another end of the season recap as well as one last Coaches Corner with Head Coach Lloyd Fields.
1 2 3 4 Final Warriors 6 0 14 8 28 Panthers 14 6 6 6 32 Scoring Summary: ACS-DosSantos 9 yard run (pat failed), 7:32, 1st BCS-Grady Achilles 45 yard run (pat blocked), 5:29, 1st ACS-Fernandez 25 yard pass from Beltran (pat good), 4:09, 1st ACS-George 12 yard pass from Beltran (pat failed), 0:10, 2nd ACS-Fernandez 18 yard pass from Beltran (pat failed), 8:41, 3rd BCS-Grady Achilles 58 yard run (pat failed), 8:24, 3rd BCS-Grady Achilles 33 yard run (Knapick kick), 7:33, 3rd ACS-DosSantos 1 yard pass from Beltran (pat failed), 3:56, 4th BCS-Eli Achilles 54 yard run (Knapick kick), 3:08, 4th Stats Bracken Abilene Total Yards 360 361 First Downs 9 11 Rushes/Yards 34/278 24/79 Comp/Att/Int 6/12/0 26/48/2 Passing Yards 82 282 Punts/Ave 3/36.7 3/23.7 Fumbles/Lost 2/2 1/1 Penalties-Yds 4-35 10-62 Passing Comp Att Pct Yds TD Int Eli Achilles 4 9 .444 59 0 0 Grady Achilles 2 3 .667 23 0 0 Rushing Att Yds Ave Lg TD Grady Achilles 22 210 9.5 58 3 Eli Achilles 8 74 9.3 54 1 Ehren Jacobson 3 3 1.0 3 0 Davis Scott 2 2 1.0 2 0 Team 1 -11 --- -- - Receiving No Yds Ave Lg TD Grady Achilles 3 42 14.0 47 0 Peter Corey 1 19 19.0 19 0 Austin Wilkinson 1 17 17.0 17 0 Eli Achilles 1 4 4.0 4 0