Smaller classification, same bi-district result for Southwest
Southwest has an advantage few Texas schools can match.
The Dragons (10-1) have 36 seniors on their roster. That isn’t just window dressing. Southwest plays like the veteran team it is, with an efficient offense, a swarming defense and strong special teams. It brought all of that to bear on a young-ish Brackenridge squad (6-5) Thursday at in a Class 5A Division I bi-district game at Dragons Stadium.
Southwest scored less than two minutes into the game and never was headed for a 49-27 victory. The Dragons return to their lair 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 to host Corpus Christi Flour Bluff (8-3) in the area round.
“It just took a lot of determination and hard work,” said Southwest senior Rosendo Olague (184 yards, 18 carries), who had two 66-yard touchdown runs. “I grew up with these guys. It’s been a really good three years.”
The undefeated 14-5A Division I champion Dragons reached the area round for the third consecutive season, the previous two in Class 6A. Brackenridge, the No. 4 seed 13-5A Division I, qualified for the playoffs for the second time in three years.
“It was a different kind of a game,” Brackenridge coach Willie Hall said. “They have a (run-pass option) type of offense. We really sold out on stopping the run, but they passed over the top of us.”
Southwest established a 28-7 halftime lead after scoring on its first play in the opening quarter and the initial play of the second quarter.
Olague scored on a 66-yard run with 10:17 remaining after the Dragons defense stopped Brackenridge on three downs.
“My blockers got the job done,” he said. “I turned the corner and I knew I was going all the way.”
The Dragons scored the first four times they had the football.
A 26-yard pass from senior quarterback Damian Lopez (111 passing yards) to Jesus Garcia made it 14-0 with 2:10 left in the first quarter. Southwest drove 61 yards after Niko Blaz’s fumble recovery to score their third touchdown 10 seconds into the second quarter when Cade Stott manufactured a 46-yard run.
An interception from Stott set up a 56-yard pass play from Lopez to Andrew Mitchell with 9:32 until halftime. Southwest outgained Brack 510-272 in total yards.
“We played really well today,” Southwest coach Matt Elliott said. “I’m excited for these guys as they get to advance.”
The Eagles assembled an impressive drive for their first touchdown, 34 seconds before the half. Carlos Camargo contributed a 27-yard reverse and a 22-yard scoring reception from Julian Cameron (16 of 30, 187 yards).
Olague uncorked his second 66-yard scoring run on the Dragons’ second possession after halftime.
“He really pushed me for an expanded role,” Elliott said, pointing out Olague was a receiver as a sophomore. “He wanted to make more plays.”
A 19-yard run from Camargo reduced the Eagles’ deficit to 35-14 with 3:04 left in the third quarter, but Southwest cashed in two interceptions to reconstruct a commanding lead.
Brackenridge scored the last two touchdowns. Cameron threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Michael Puente and 17-yard strike to Hector Hernandez.
“The kids fought hard and didn’t give up,” Hall said. “We have a quarterback and a running back coming back, but we have a lot of seniors who played their last game.”