ABILENE — One team walked away with a narrow escape. The other walked away with life lessons.
Brock’s thrilling 34-27 win over Breckenridge, that saw the Eagles overcome a furious second-half rally by the Buckaroos, offered a full range of emotions for both sides, ranging from fear, to relief, to elation, to devastation.
The post-game dichotomy at Shotwell Stadium said it all, with a grateful Brock team hoisting a gold football shortly after the win, and a teary-eyed group of Breckenridge fans and players gathered across the way.
Breckenridge had just erased a 27-6 deficit in a span of six minutes, only to see Brock get the last word with a 2-yard Tripp Jones scoring run with 2:53 to play.
It proved to be the game winner for the Eagles (10-1), who advance to face Slaton on Nov. 23 in Sweetwater at 1 p.m.
Toby Morrison rushed for 122 yards and two scores and Tommy Merrill caught TD passes of 63 and 65 yards to lead Brock, which had build a 20-6 lead by the break.
“We battled them and when we went up 27-6 it felt like we were ready to take control of the game,” Brock coach Chad Worrell said. “Then we let them back in with a kickoff return, but hats off to (Kooper Skook) for making a play.
“After that, we had to hold on because we had lost all the momentum.”
Skook’s return, a 93-yarder, came on the heels of a 1-yard TD run by Morrison in the waning seconds of the third quarter. In an instant, Brock’s newly earned 27-6 lead was 27-13.
The Bucks’ momentum continued to build through its next two possessions, which saw the game’s leading rusher, Angel Ruiz (17-218), score his second and third TDs of the game on runs of 74 and 67 yards — the latter of which knotted the game at 27 with 6:35 to play.
Brock countered on the ensuing possession, however, with a 43-yard pass from Jones to Baylor Cupp, setting the Eagles up with a first-and-goal at the Breck 5. Two plays later, Jones added the game winner on a quarterback keeper.
Breckenridge, which saw its final drive fail on downs, closed the year at 4-7.
“I just told the kids to be fighters,” said Breckenridge coach Casey Hubble of the life lessons learned by his club in Friday’s heart-breaker. “A lot of times in life, people don’t get what they want and the lesson they get from that is to not pour everything into it.
“But the lesson I gave them was to do it anyway and you’ll be a winner in life.”
BROCK 34, BRECKENRIDGE 27
BRO — Toby Morrison 28 run (kick failed), 3:41
BRO — Tommy Merrill 63 pass from Tripp Jones (Tatum Saathoff kick), 10:32
BRE — Angel Ruiz 50 run (kick failed), 6:49
BRO — Merrill 65 pass from Takota Taylor (Saathoff kick), 0:03
BRO — Toby Morrison 1 run (Saathoff kick), 0:19
BRE — Kooper Skook 93 kickoff return (Justin Bell kick), 0:03
BRE — Ruiz 74 run (Bell kick), 9:09
BRE — Ruiz 67 (Bell kick), 6:35
BRO — Tripp Jones 2 run (Saathoff kick), 2:53
RUSHING — Brock, Morrison 13-122; Jake Teskey 8-69; Jones 6-30; Zakk Young 7-25; Taylor 6-16; Merrill 2-1. Breckenridge, Ruiz 17-218; Kevin Franco 16-65; Jonas Arellano 1-5.
PASSING — Brock, Jones 2-4-0—114; Taylor 3-4-0—80; Jase Lopez 0-1-0—0. Breckenridge, Kevin Franco 4-8-0—51.
RECEIVING — Brock, Merrill 2-128; Baylor Cupp 3-66. Breckenridge, Gerardo 2-38; Weston Wilson 1-12; Jake Escalon 1-1.
RECORDS — Brock 10-1; Breckenridge 4-7.
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