The Eagles are now one of the “sweet 16” teams left playing for a state championship.
“We have been down before so, we knew we could come back and give ourselves a chance to win,” said senior Jared Martinez. “Our coaches said we needed to wrap up better and we adjusted. When we took the lead, our momentum really grew.”
The Eagles opened the second quarter with a 40-yard burst by running back Debray Bonner. A couple of plays later, Tyler Quesada hit Martinez with a six-yard touchdown pass. Conner Payne kicked the extra point to cut the Badgers’ lead to 14-7.
Bruni would score their final points with 1:12 left in the first half to take a 21-7 lead. The Eagles came right back as Quesada lobbed a screen pass to Bonner who out-raced everyone for a 56-yard touchdown. Payne kicked the extra point to end the first half with Bruni leading 21-14.
The third quarter saw each team turn the ball over. The Eagles cut the lead to one point just before the third quarter ended when Quesada raced down the left sideline for a 52-yard touchdown run. The kick was no good and the quarter ended with Bruni up 21-20.
“We always have an incentive when we play Bruni because they have knocked us out of the playoffs before,” said senior Logan Moses. “We knew they were good but, they were a lot better than what we saw on film. They seemed to struggle after their quarterback went out with an injury. We just stuck to our game plan.”
With less than two minutes gone in the fourth quarter, Andy Villareal brought the Eagle faithful to its feet with a 79-yard end-around run for a score. Lionel Brown hit Jacob Nesloney with a pass for the two-point try and the Eagles took the lead 28-21.
On the Badgers very next series, Freddie Arriaga recovered a fumble to give his team the ball at the Badger 20-yard line. Six plays later, Quesada scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak. Bonner ran in the two-point try to finish the scoring for the night.
The Eagles will now face district rival Falls City in the regional semifinals. The Beavers defeated the Eagles 30-22 back in early November.
“We are really excited about getting another shot at Falls City,” continued Martinez and Moses. “We have never beaten them and we believe we are the team that can get it done. Falls City is very good and we respect them.
“At the same time, we are confident in our ability. We know that it will take everyone of us to play our very best to come out on top.
“We hope to see our whole Eagle Nation out there supporting us.”
The Eagles will face the Falls City Beavers this Friday night in Floresville. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.