Brownwood puts 42 points on the board in first quarter alone
At the end of the first period Friday night, the Brownwood Lions had snapped the ball just four times – yet led by six touchdowns.
To say the Lions' 2019 home opener and homecoming contest was one-sided would be a massive understatement as Brownwood pummeled the Snyder Tigers, 70-3.
Brownwood second-year head coach Sammy Burnett stated he couldn't recall ever being a part of a game that got out of hand so abruptly.
“All in all, I thought we did a great job in all three phases of the game and I thought we took away their will to win early,” Burnett said. “We'll have to go back and watch but I'm just wondering if we're executing the game plan the way we're supposed to, are we that dominant up front, or are they not as good as we expected them to be? They're a good team and I know they played hard and I know their kids are physical, but I think the fact that we got on them so early, we just took their desire away. I'll have to go back and watch film, but I hope we were just that dominant.”
Snyder's initial three-play drive ended with Jorge Oliveras attempting to fake a punt at his own 40, which resulted in Ezequiel Ibarra dragging Oliveras down for an 11-yard loss.
The Lions' first play from scrimmage was a 29-yard touchdown carry by Reece Rodgers at the 10:09 mark of the first period — one of his three touchdown runs as Rodgers finished with 112 yards on just five carries.
Leading 7-0, the Lions (2-0) forced another three-and-out. This time, Oliveras punted the ball away for Snyder (0-2), but Dane Johnson returned the kick 75 yards for the second touchdown and a 14-0 Brownwood lead at the 8:27 mark.
“Special teams lit it up early and Dane did a great job returning punts,” Burnett said. “We also kicked the ball well and covered well and pinned them deep to make them have long drives.”
On Snyder's very next play from scrimmage, quarterback Leeroy Tavarez hurled the first of his three interceptions, as Zach Strong snagged a 41-yard pick six that extended Brownwood's advantage to 21-0 with 7:52 left in the opening frame.
The Tigers hung on to the ball for three plays before punting it away on the next possession, and Johnson — who amassed more than 150 yards on six returns — brought the kick back to the Snyder 43. On the next play, Lions quarterback Drew Huff hit A.J. McCarty on a slant over the middle for a 43-yard touchdown, and Brownwood led 28-0 at the 5:50 mark.
After another three-and-out by Snyder and Johnson punt return, the Lions took over at their own 46. Again, one play is all Brownwood needed as Rodgers scored on a 54-yard scamper to stretch the lead to 35-0 with 3:33 left in the initial stanza.
The Lions tacked on one more touchdown before the quarter ended following Snyder's fourth punt of the frame. Starting at the Tiger 48, Huff sprinted to the end zone with 2:26 to go to extend the lead to 42-0.
Aside from one punt return, Brownwood was not tackled in the first period.
The second quarter didn't begin much better for Snyder, as Tavarez was intercepted by Damion Jones on the first snap, which set up the Lions at Tiger 18. Brownwood needed three plays to score this time as Huff and McCarty connected on a 16-yard fade that padded the cushion to 49-0 with 9:58 left until halftime.
Brownwood's eighth touchdown was set up by a Johnson punt return to the Snyder 31. Four plays later, Rodgers dove into the end zone from 18 yards out to push the Brownwood lead to 56-0 with 5:57 remaining in the second period.
The Lions' concluded their first-half scoring outburst with 1:49 left as the defense got into the act once more. Rowdee Gregory stepped in front of a Tavarez offering and returned a pick six 33 yards for a 63-0 halftime cushion.
After finishing with just 10 points and 288 yards against Brock, the Lions — behind the front line of Ethan Pesina, Theo Bryant, Brad Robinson, Brandon Farrow and Jimi Brown — generated six offensive touchdowns and 222 yards on 11 snaps in the first half alone. By night's end, Brownwood had logged 331 total yards — 255 on the ground and 76 through the air — with no turnovers and no sacks for a second consecutive week.
Brownwood tacked on one more score before the night ended, as second-string quarterback Blaize Espinoza — after having the ball snapped over his head – was able to recover and find a wide open Isyah Campos for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 8:21 remaining.
“Our offense played great,” Burnett said. “We were able to grind it out on the ground and when we threw the ball a couple of times we did a good job with that. We only had one pre-snap penalty and that was just a minor thing.”
The Lion defense, fresh off their first shutout since 2015 in the opener at Brock, were just 2:17 away from a second in a row. Brownwood yielded just 97 yards and four first downs, with Snyder amassing 43 yards and two first downs on its final drive, culminating in a 36-yard field goal.
“They were always behind the chains,” Burnett said in regard to the Snyder offense. “We were making great plays on early downs and putting them behind the eight-ball.”
Through two games, the Lions have yielded just 428 yards — an average of 214 per game — with seven takeaways.
As was the case last week, when the Lions blanked Brock, 10-0, Brownwood avenged another loss from the 2018 campaign as Snyder notched a 31-21 victory on its home turf. Next up for the Lions is a visit from the Graham Steers, a 56-0 winner over Mineral Wells Friday. Last season, a pair of 0-2 teams met with Brownwood collecting its first victory under Burnett. But next week, a pair of red-hot 2-0 squads will clash at Gordon Wood Stadium.
“I want the kids to enjoy this win because they're hard to come by,” Burnett said. “Enjoy it through Sunday because come Monday we have to grind to get better every week because we're about to face some real tough opponents, and Graham's a football team that's rocking right now.”
LIONS 70, SNYDER 3
SCORE BY QUARTER
Snyder 0 0 0 3 - 3
Brownwood 42 21 0 7 - 70
B: Reece Rodgers 29 run (Blaize Espinoza kick), 10:09, 1st
B: Dane Johnson 75 punt return (Espinoza kick), 8:27, 1st
B: Zach Strong 41 interception return (Espinoza kick), 7:52, 1st
B: A.J. McCarty 43 pass from Drew Huff (Espinoza kick), 5:50, 1st
B: Rodgers 54 run (Espinoza kick), 3:33, 1st
B: Huff 48 run (Espinoza kick), 2:26, 1st
B: McCarty 16 pass from Huff (Espinoza kick), 9:58, 2nd
B: Rodgers 18 run (Espinoza kick), 5:57, 2nd
B: Rowdee Gregory 33 interception return (Espinoza kick), 1:49, 2nd
B: Isyah Campos 17 pass from Espinoza (Strong kick), 8:51, 4th
S: Jorge Oliveras 36 FG, 2:17, 4th
TEAM STATS B S
First Downs 14 4
Total Offense 331 97
Rushing 26-255 20-48
Passing 76 49
C-A-I 3-4-0 14-24-3
Fumbles Lost 0 0
Penalties 3-20 5-40
Punts 1-32.0 6-39.5
Rushing: B – Reece Rodgers 5-112; Royshad Henderson 8-67; Drew Huff 4-61; Xavier Satberry 2-9; Jose Pena 1-6; Blaize Espinoza 6-0. S – Jorge Martinez 4-35; Corey Landin 3-5; Kaden Vess 2-5; Leeroy Tavarez 5-3; Cameron Smith 1-0; Jorge Oliveras 3-(-1)
Passing: B – Huff 2-3-0-59; Espinoza 1-1-0-17. S – Tavarez 11-15-3-43; Landin 3-9-0-6
Receiving: B – A.J. McCarty 2-59; Isyah Campos 1-17. S - Eli Garcia 5-27; Martinez 3-8; Vess 2-8; Olivares 2-4; Derek Dominguez 1-6; Jordan Savage 1-(-4).