Whitesboro

The Whitesboro Bearcats were heavy underdogs against the No. 1 team in Class 3A Division 1, but at halftime, they had planted several seeds of doubt in the Brock Eagles.

Whitesboro used a Jacob Smith interception returned for a touchdown to take a 7-6 lead and were within one possession headed to halftime at 15-7, but the start of the third quarter saw the Eagles assert their dominance with a kickoff return for a touchdown.

Brock’s defense shut down the Whitesboro offense the rest of the night and the Eagles used their consistent ground game to pull away for the 50-7 district win.

“Our kids were excited, but anytime you give up a kickoff return to start the second half, it’s hard to get back into it,” Whitesboro head coach Cody Fagan said. “Obviously, things fell apart a little bit in the third quarter and they pulled away, but the old saying is when you give up a touchdown on special teams, it’s hard to win a football game and that rang true tonight.”

The Bearcats went 3-and-out on their first possession of the game and Brock needed just six plays to find the end zone.

A 7-yard touchdown from Cash Jones got Brock on the board, but a fumbled snap on the extra point try made it 6-0 with 8:58 left in the first quarter.

Whitesboro was forced to punt on its next drive and Brock methodically drove into Bearcats’ territory.

However, a telegraphed pass from Brock led to a pick-6 from Smith to give Whitesboro the 7-6 advantage with 8 seconds left in the first quarter.

Each team exchanged punts before Brock got its offensive groove again.

The Eagles used five straight runs to get into the red zone before Jones second straight 7-yard touchdown flip-flopped Brock back in front.

A failed 2-point conversion made it 12-7 with 3:58 left in the first half.

Whitesboro moved the ball well on its next drive but a key sack led to a 38-yard field goal attempt that was missed with 54 seconds left.

A 59-yard pass by Brock quickly got the Eagles in business and they hit a 27-yard field goal to give them a 15-7 lead headed to halftime.

“I was really proud of their effort,” Fagan said. “We played really well defensively. We had to find a way to punch it in offensively and finish some of those drives, but I thought our offensive line came a long way this week against a good football team. It’s hard to see that we’re getting better in a loss, but we’ve got a good rivalry next week against Pilot Point next week and hopefully our kids can execute next week.”

But as close as Whitesboro was in the first half, all of their good work went up in smoke as the Eagles returned the second-half kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to push their lead to 22-7.

The Bearcats showed offensive promise on their next drive, but facing a 4th-and-2, they were unable to covert and they turned the ball over on downs at the 25-yard line with 8:44 left in the third quarter.

Brock turned that defensive momentum into offense and Jones diced up the Whitesboro defense for a 63-yard touchdown with 7:12 left in the third to take all the wind out of the Bearcats’ sails.

A fumble by Whitesboro at its own 30-yard line on its next drive gave Brock great field position and the Eagles needed just five plays to convert as a 2-yard touchdown from Tatum Saathoff gave Brock the 36-7 lead.

The Bearcats tried a fake punt on their next drive to try to catch Brock by surprise, but they came up just short and were forced to turn the ball over on downs at Brock’s 33-yard line.

Kutter Wilson’s 9-yard touchdown with 10:50 left in the game inflated the lead to 43-7 and a 5-yard touchdown from Wilson made it 50-7 with 7:15 remaining in the game.

Whitesboro falls to 1-5 with the loss and 1-2 in district play while Brock extends record to 6-0.

“I think we found a way to run the ball against a really good team, but we couldn’t get anything in the passing game,” Fagan said. “Brock is number one for a reason and coach [Chad] Worrell does a great job with those kids. They fly around and they play really, really hard. They’re also very athletic and I anticipate they’ll make a deep, deep playoff run and maybe go all the way.

“We need to focus on our kids to get better each week and find a few wins here at the end and sneak into the playoffs. We’ve got to find a way to get some points on offense. Our defensive effort is there.”

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