In 48 minutes the 2012 Eagles erased 24 years of playoff disappointments by bashing the Bartlett Bulldogs 50-20 in the bi-district round of the Class 1A Division 2 playoffs on the red turf of Cougar Stadium in New Braunfels.
For Woodsboro fans that packed their side of the stands, it was well worth the trip to see their Eagles make school history. Eagle fans cheered throughout the game but, with five minutes left in the game, it was obvious that the celebration had started.
“I have never felt like this before in my life,” said running back Debray Bonner. “Our parents, our school, and our whole community deserve this. Our whole team has worked very hard for this and our community has been with us every step of the way.”
The Bulldogs scored first and kept it close for a quarter and a half but, the Eagles capitalized on four first half turnovers to break it open late in the second quarter. After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, Tyler Quesada scrambled around the left side for a 12-yard touchdown run. Conner Payne kicked the extra point to tie it up at 7-7 after one quarter of play.
Woodsboro would trail only once more at the 8:56 minute mark of the second quarter. Things began to unravel for the Bulldogs and the Eagles took advantage of everything that came their way. With 5:57 left in the first half, Bonner faked a run and then threw a jump pass to Logan Moses for a 16-yard touchdown play. Lionel Brown then hit Jacob Nesloney with a pass for the two-point conversion to give the Eagles a 15-14 lead.
On the Bulldogs next series, Jonathan Flores scooped up a fumble and raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Payne again kicked the extra point to make it 22-14 for Woodsboro. Bartlett scored their final points with 1:35 left in the first half to cut the Eagles lead to 22-20.
Coach Wade Miller pulled out his “crazy” playbook and the Eagles surprised the Bulldogs with the old “hook and ladder” play. Quesada fired a pass to Moses who, turned and threw a lateral pass to Bonner who, raced 45 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. Payne again kicked the extra point to make it 29-20.
On the Bulldogs very next possession, Jared Martinez intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards to the Bulldogs seven-yard line. Two plays later, Quesada eluded several tacklers in route to a seven-yard touchdown run. Payne added the extra point to end the first half with Woodsboro leading 36-20.
Bonner opened the second half with a 40-yard burst up the middle to give his team excellent field position. Brown then took it in from seven yards out for a touchdown. Bonner hit Nesloney with a pass for the two-point try to make it 44-20 with 8:27 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles’ final score came with 1:40 left in the third quarter. Bartlett was pinned deep in their territory and set up to punt on a fourth down. Justin Fierova came charging in and blocked the punt. Andy Villareal picked up the loose ball and ran into the end zone from 10-yards out. The two point try was stopped.
“Our football program took that next step that has been eluding us for so long.” said an elated Brown. “We were intense all week at practice and we could not wait to get out here. It is on to the next step for us now.”
“Bruni is no stranger and they have had the upper hand on us,” continued Bonner and Brown. “We are going to have to continue to work hard and play our best. Our whole team wants to thank our community for being with us and we hope to see everyone behind us again in Kingsville.”
The Eagles will face the Bruni Badgers in the area round of the playoffs this Friday in Kingsville at Javelina Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m