Bucks pick up first win in overtime thriller
PARADISE— The Breckenridge High School football team picked up its first win of the season after dropping Paradise in double overtime thanks to a few plays on special teams.
Following a blocked extra point by senior defensive back Lonnie Hinson and a 25-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Owen Woodward to sophomore receiver Aaryn Medina in the second series of double overtime, the Buckaroos’ fate rested on their junior kicker Jose Escobedo who did not disappoint after splitting the uprights with a game-winning extra point.
“As soon as I saw [the touchdown] I ran,” Escobedo said. “It was the first thing on my mind … I was going to make it, no matter what.”
While special team play ultimately decided the score, Friday night’s game seemed to come down to which made the most significant mistake and which team had the ball last. The Buckaroos began by coming up short on a goal line stand, but Escobedo’s 17-yard field goal improved the Buckaroos’ chances.
“I had to do it for the team,” Escobedo said. “I’ve worked so hard all season long kicking field goals after practice. I just went out there and hit one for the team.”
The Panthers responded with a 39-yard field goal to send the game into a second overtime period, then took their final lead after punching in a 1-yard touchdown run.
“I told them, ‘Just do your job,’” Breckenridge coach Casey Hubble said. “Players make plays and that is what they did.”
Although going home with their first win, an early 14-0 deficit seemed to spell the Buckaroos’ sixth loss of the season. After stalling on their first two offensive series, the Buckaroos proved the third is a charm with Woodward hitting junior receiver Kyler Knight and sophomore tight end Jake Escalon for a combined 59 yards. Senior running back Zach Willis carried the load on the ground, rushing for 28 of his team-leading 144 rushing yards. A pass from Woodward to Escalon put Breckenridge at the 1-yard line and Hinson punched it in to pull the Bucks within a touchdown. With less than a minute left in the first half, Paradise looked to put Breckenridge away with a quick score through the air but resulted 35-yard touchdown going the other direction following an interception by Willis.
“I just did what I was coached,” Willis said. “I saw the quarterback drop back and I made the play. It was all thanks to my coaching. It was just reading my keys and if I would not have read my keys I would not have made the play.”
Woodward said the offense fed off Willis score. After penalties put Breckenridge on its 3-yard line, the Bucks mounted a 97-yard drive capped off by an 8-yard touchdown after Escalon made a diving catch while attempting to get his hands under Woodward’s pass.
“It was a bad ball on me, but Jake is a player,” Woodward said. “He knows what to do and how to do it … He’s always been there with me grinding it before and after practice and it finally paid off.”
On the ensuing kickoff the senior outside linebacker Chuckie Perez recovered a fumble, then on the next play Willis scored a 22-yard touchdown that ended a 28-0 run beginning late second quarter. Paradise would rally to tie the game late, but even then the momentum seemed in the Bucks’ favor.
“After the pick, everyone realized we needed to come together and fight to win the game. We just kept making plays after that,” Willis said.
The Buckaroos will look to take their district record to 2-0 when they host the Bowie Jackrabbits (2-4, 1-0) Friday. Bowie comes into Friday’s game also undefeated in district play after besting Boyd 34-20. The Jackrabbits run a similar 3-4 defense as Paradise, but will challenge the Bucks’ secondary and linebackers with their shotgun-spread offense and misdirection running game.
Breck 0 14 7 7 10 - 38
PHS 14 0 7 7 9 - 37
7:40: Lane Upton, 5-yard run, XP good. Angus Pace 6-yard run, XP good.
5:12 Hinson 1-yard run, Escobedo XP good. 0:50 Willis 35-yard interception TD, XP good.
1:11: Escalon 15-yard TD catch from Woodward, XP good.
11:49 Willis 25-yard touchdown, XP good. 6:57 Upton 1-yard TD, XP good. 0:04 Mitchell Sellers 1-yard catch from Jace Essig, XP good.
Escobedo 17-yard field goal, Brody Jones 39-yard field goal, Upton 1-yard TD, XP no good, Medina 25-yard catch from Woodward pass, XP good.
PASSING — Woodward, 14 of 19 for 136 yards and two touchdowns
RUSHING — Willis 17-144, two touchdowns, Hinson 7-99, one touchdown. Woodward 4-51, Angel Ruiz 2-40.
RECEIVING — Hinson 2-24, Knight 3-43, Kevin Franco 1-5, Escalon 4-35, one touchdown, Medina 2-39, one touchdown.