Bracken Warriors Kick the Winston Eagles, 54-52
Bracken Christian Kicked the Winston Eagles, 54-52
The Warriors had a battle Friday night as their defense gave up over 500 yards and still pulled off a win in dramatic fashion.
Well, dramatic fashion if you are a fan of a player kicking a football. For the newbies out there, in 6-Man football the point after is worth 2 points and Bracken made that part of their game pay off with this 2-point win.
Paul Nakalanga missed just one bonus kick out of 7 tries and that added up to 12 points and allowed The Winston to have more touchdowns and still losing the game.
“It is a great feeling knowing that he (Nakalanga) is consistently great and we know he will score,” Junior Cristian De Leon mused.
Bracken scored 12 points by the bonus kick, while the Eagles scored one more touchdown and were able to garner 4 points with their point after attempts. That adds up to needing 6 points and the extra 2 points for a tie.
This is one weapon no other 6-man teams can’t match and all that was needed for the 7th win in a row and keeping their Bracken record without blemish.
“We went spread early in the game because we notice they were getting winded,” Head Coach Hosea Stredic said. “Paul (Nakalanga) won it for us.”
On how this game played out, Coach Stredic was all business, “They had good running back and we did not take care of stuff….We had guys that were getting behind their line of scrimmage but they cleared the line without a purpose.”
“This was the best overall team we have played this year on both offense and defense,” Stredic continued. “This game made me think more and made me coach.”
The Winston had a lethal running game as speed would be an understatement with Dylan Luna scoring 6 times accumulating 268 yards on those touchdown runs. This would remind the ‘Old Timers’ with sights of watching Bracken’s Grady Achilles back a few years ago.
The Winston scored on their second possession when Luna found Jordan Garza for a short 5 yard pass on a 4th down play. With the missed bonus kick, that would be what would tie the score and be the difference for the final score, 54-52.
BCS was not running a very smooth offense to start this contest as the first play was intercepted and on the Warriors second possession, the Eagles, held the home team to -5 yards and a punt.
That punt was a daunting 58 yards to The Winstonl’s 12 yard line, but many times in 6-man, teams will let balls roll when they have confidence in their offense since that allows for more yardage to be gained when the drive starts.
With over 500 yards rushing you can deduce that the Eagles would have confidence in their running game.
The Warriors first touchdown was after a Bracken stop and 11 yard punt by Winston. That punt did not go far enough for the first down yardage needed.
With a one play Presley Day run for 20 yards the Warriors would take their first lead, 8-6 and that clinching 2 point lead.
That 20 yard rushing play would be the longest run for this Homecoming Night by the Warriors.
Bracken’s defense would force another Eagle stop and what might be a momentum changing moment, but a fumble would put the brakes on those thoughts and then the dam broke for Winston as Luna had a one play 57 yard TD run, taking the lead back in the Eagles’ favor, 14-8.
On BCS’ next drive Warriors would switch their offense to spread to open up the field but that drive was stopped and now Winston would score again on a one play run for 63 yards and, 20-8 lead for the visitors.
Winston’s defense was getting the job done with another stop and this Eagle drive went 5 plays and score as the Warrior deficit would increase to, 08-26 score.
Bracken scored with one minute left before half and the Cristian De Leon catch would hopefully instill some hope for the Warriors.
“This game was nerve racking since it was homecoming,” DeLeon said. “It felt good catching the ball especially after that first catch.”
DeLeon was commenting on being on the sideline for all but the opening game with an injury this season.
The Winston would answer again on a one play 50 yard run by Luna and that would douse the Warrior’s momentum fire with a, 16-32 Eagle lead going into halftime.
Adjustments are sometimes just good ole inspiring words needed for the second half if this would become a winnable game for BCS.
“At halftime, I told the players that when you are facing adversity you will have to see what your team will win with and can they overcome that adversity,” Coach Stredic remembered.
“Coach told us to keep our composure and play Bracken football,” Cristian De Leon recalled. “We came out with fire and went after them.”
Bracken was on offense to start the 2nd half and a 3 play drive for a score would get the Warriors within a 1 score game after the Nakalanga bonus kick, 24-32.
The next play was a Reese Smith interception and run back to the Eagles’ 8 yard line having Bracken and the homecoming crowd being in high gear.
Three plays and a Brady Beene 7 yard run would tie the score and put this game back to being all tied up and having the team that makes the most plays for a win.
Well, The Winston, went back to what had worked earlier in this game when, Luna, ran 57 yards on a 4th down play and after running in the extra point, the Eagles were back in business being up, 39-32.
Bracken was now thinking of scoring on each drive and Beene would do just that with a score on a 10 yard run and a Nakalanga kick had the Warriors in business with a 40-39 lead.
On The Winston’s next drive, the Eagles had a 4th and 1 play on Bracken’s 30 yard line.
A spread offense was set up by the Eagles and BCS responded with 5 players rushing their spread back, Luna, and taking him down for a rare loss. This defensive play showed the Warriors playing their outside receivers but after the snap all of those Warriors near the line converged and to make a big stop.
Bracken would score again on 2 plays as Beene was being pressured and a dump pass to Day and 32 yards with a player that would not be denied and a Warrior, 46-39 lead.
Nakalanga missed his only bonus kick on this try.
Hot potatoes was up next as a Winston fumble followed by a Warrior interception had that exchange going into the final quarter.
The Eagles first play went for 25 yards and then Bracken’s defense would rise to the occasion holding with no yardage on their next 4 plays and having the ball with another chance of putting more distance between these two titans.
Beene found Day for a pass and run of 45 yards and what would give the Warrior’s a 15 point advantage with just over 7 minutes remaining.
Winston would score on a 53 yard run by, (you guessed it) Luna and a run-in extra point bringing the game to within 8 points and still anybodies game.
After holding Bracken on their next possession, The Winston went to work with 2:00 minutes left in the game. It would be no mystery if you put too much thought into a one play 31 yard run by Luna for his 6th touchdown in a row in this contest.
With an Anthony Beres ready to try for the tying bonus kick the Warriors would call a time-out for some strategy talk.
It worked as Bracken blocked the point after and which preserved their 2 point lead, 54-52.
BCS would need one first down to run out the clock and that happened when Beene dumped his next pass to Day for 18 yards and a new set of downs.
This game had Bracken with more passing yardage which last happened when The ReSporter was not covering the Warriors during those first two years of existence.
The good news is having a team that can win without gaining more yardage, since football will usually require more than one discipline to result in a team win.
This game proved that special teams with the kick would be just enough to get that win for a homecoming dance with a smile on your face.
The ReSporter is thinking this Homecoming dance might have some ‘kicker’ music.
1 2 3 4 Final The Winston 6 26 7 13 52 Bracken Warriors 8 8 30 8 54 Scoring Summary: TWE-Jordan Garza 5 yard pass from Dylan Luna (pat failed), 5:10, 1st BCS-Presley Day 20 yard run (Paul Nakalanda kick), 1:42, 1st TWE-Dylan Luna 57 yard run (Anthony Beres kick), 8:31, 2nd TWE-Alejandro Vazquez 63 yard run (pat failed), 6:08, 2nd TWE-Dylan Luna 20 yard run (pat failed), 3:02, 2nd BCS-Cristian DeLeon 13 yard pass from Brady Beene (Paul Nakalanka kick), 1:14, 2nd TWE-Dylan Luna 50 yard run (pat failed), 1:06, 2nd BCS-Presley Day 15 yard pass from Brady Beene (Paul Nakalanka kick), 9:32, 3rd BCS-Brady Beene 7 yard run (Paul Nakalanka kick), 8:30, 3rd TWE-Dylan Luna 57 yard run (Dylan Luna run), 6:04, 3rd BCS-Brady Beene 10 yard run (Paul Nakalanka kick), 4:58, 3rd BCS-Presley Day 32 yard pass from Brady Beene (pat failed), 1:38, 3rd BCS-Presley Day 45 yard pass from Brady Beene (Paul Nakalanka kick), 7:38, 4th TWE-Dylan Luna 53 yard run (Dylan Luna run), 4:29, 4th TWE-Dylan Luna 31 yard run (pat failed), 1:53, 4th Game Stats Eagles Warriors Total Yards 531 388 First Downs 13 12 Rush/Yards 39/504 22/130 Comp/Att/Int 4/11/1 18/32/2 Passing Yards 27 258 Punts/Average 1/11.0 1/58.0 Fumbles/Lost 2/2 2/2 Penalties-Yards 4-35 4-30 Passing Comp Att Pct Yards Int TD Brady Beene 15 29 .517 219 2 4 Lucas McCrum 3 3 1.000 39 0 0 Rushing Att Yds Ave Lg TD Brady Beene 12 93 7.8 16 2 Presley Day 5 34 6.8 20 1 Lucas McCrum 5 3 0.6 4 0 Receiving No Yds Ave Lg TD Presley Day 9 168 18.7 45 3 Cristian DeLeon 4 68 17.0 29 1 Lucas McCrum 2 13 7.0 7 0 Resse Smith 3 9 3.0 10 0