SUGAR LAND — Any loss stings, but the Brazos Cougar’s 53-52 loss in overtime to Fort Bend Christian Academy on Friday is certain to cause some buzz among District 15-2A Division 1 opponents.
“If I was a defensive coordinator in this district, I would say, how did a team down 17 points in the first quarter come back and put 52 points on the board?” new head coach Ryan Roecker told the boys after the narrow loss at Eagles Stadium. “You have no reason to hang your head. Walk with your head up. Be proud of what you accomplished. You never quit. You never gave up. ”
The Eagles took the opening kick off and marched down field five plays to score their first touchdown of the evening in just under two minutes.
Brazos coughed up the ball on their first offensive play of the night at their own 36 yard line. The Cougars’ defense forced the Eagles to settle for a 27-yard field goal minutes later.
The Cougars fumbled the ball away on the first play of their second drive at their own 42. This time the Brazos defense held firm and an Eagles’ field goal failed.
A screen pass from Eagles quarterback on the following first down resulted in a 98-yard touchdown romp by running back Claude Mikandi and gave Fort Bend Christian a 17-0 lead going into the second quarter
The Cougars put points on the board on their next possession of the ball when quarterback Jaylin Vela connected with running back Ira Minters on the sideline and Minters raced 24 yards for the score. The extra point attempt failed because of a poorly snapped ball or poor catch by the place holder.
Brazos safety Cody Ressler intercepted an Eagles pass minutes later and returned it to the Fort Bend Christian 48-yard line. Cougars running back Malcolm Tolls, a senior, scored Brazos’ second touchdown of the evening when he dashed across the goal from the seven with 7:37 remaining in the half.
Brazos defensive lineman D.J. Lewis intercepted a tipped pass and rumbled to the Eagles 33 yard line.
The Cougars scored seven plays later on runs by Vela and Chance Gurecky. Minters carried the ball over the goal from one yard out with 2:39 6 remaining in the half. The two-point conversion failed but Brazos led for the first time in the game.
The 18-17 lead didn’t last long.
The Eagles scored their third touchdown of the evening minutes later on a 39-yard touchdown pass-run down the sideline to take a 24-18 lead going into the half.
Vela germinated the next successful drive when he returned the kick off to the Cougars’ 35 yard line. He, Minters and Toles moved the ball down field on successive runs to the Eagles’ 35-yard line.
Toles took a pass from Vela on a first down and battled his way to the 11. Minters advanced the ball to the six and Vela called his own play and raced around the left in for the score with 5:21 remaining in the third quarter.
A pitch-out to Minters was good for an additional two points and the Cougars narrowed the Eagles’ lead to 31-26.
Fort Bend Christian extended their lead to 38-26 five plays later on a run-pass play with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter.
Brazos scored three plays later when Vela ran around the right end to score with 1:28 remaining in the quarter to make it a 38-32 game.
The Brazos defend forced the Eagles to turn the ball over on downs as time expired in the third quarter and the Cougars started their next touchdown drive at their own 21.
Junior Jared Demny, filling in at quarterback, scampered to the 33 of the Eagles. Toles carried the ball to the 10 for a first down on the next play. Vela returned as signal caller and bulled his way to the one-yard line. Minters carried the ball over the goal on the next play to make it a 38-38 game.
The two-point conversion failed when Vela was stopped at the one yard line seconds later.
The Brazos defense forced the Eagles to punt the ball away on their next possession.
The Cougars started their next drive at their own 42 and drove down field 58 yards on runs by Minter, Toles and Vela. Gurecky carried the ball in from five yards out to give Brazos a 44-38 lead.
Vela scored two more points on the following play on a quarterback keeper around the left end to make it a 46-38 game in favor of Brazos.
On their next possession, Fort Bend Christian drove down field to the Cougars’ 21-yard line but the Brazos defense held them on third down. Unfortunately for the Cougars, one if their players was called for a personal foul on the fourth-down pass play and the Eagles were given a first down at the Cougars’ 25. The Eagles scored three plays later on a quarterback keeper. A two-point conversion tied the game at 46-46 with less than four minutes on the clock.
Time expired before either team could score again and the game went into overtime.
Each team were given the opportunity to score from 25 yards out.
The Cougars scored first when Vela connected with wide open wide receiver William “Nick” Oliver. The two-point conversion failed and Brazos led 52-46.
The Eagles started their overtime possession at their own 20 yard line because of a penalty against Brazos.
Mikandi carried the ball to the six on the first play and to the one on the second play before tying the game on a run up the middle on third down. The extra point kick sealed the win for the Eagles.
Brazos travels to Ganado on Friday to take on the Indians. Game starts at 7:30 p.m.