BOWIE, Texas — The Bowie Jackrabbits kept it a close first half last week in Breckenridge, but the Buckaroo offense came alive after halftime, handing Bowie a tough 32-6 loss and a 1-1 district record. With nearly every team evenly matched, every game in 4-3A DI is an important one; a loss surely making the Rabbits fight for a postseason berth even more important.
A rebound win won’t be easy though, as the high-flying Brock Eagles swoop into Jackrabbit Stadium. It seems as though no one in the district may be able to knock the Eagles off the top, and another possible deep playoff run for the 2015 state champions.
Brock had to overcome a bit of adversity in 2017, losing their week two game to Midland Christian 26-9 — their first loss at home in their five-year program history. Since that contest, however, the Eagles picked up right where they left off, scoring an average of 47 points in the five games since.
“We’re a bit younger than we were in past years,” said Brock Coach Chad Worrell. “We knew our non-district schedule was going to be tough, and we knew Midland Christian was going to be tough. We played well in the first half but had some mistakes. Since then though the kids have done a great job of correcting those mistakes.”
Brock has started district play hot, beginning with a 53-14 win over Ponder, followed by last week’s 56-0 win over Paradise, their first shutout of the season.
“It seemed like things started clicking last week,” Worrell added. “Paradise has done a good job this season, they’ve scored a lot of points against other teams this season, but I felt we probably played the cleanest football and started clicking in all three aspects of the game.”
The Eagles are led by a tremendous running game, with two players tallying double-digit touchdowns — Tanner Patino has 15 scores, and Dawson Littlepage has 11 to go along with 866 and 719 yards rushing, respectively. Tripp Jones has performed well enough under center, completing 24 passes for 448 yards and six touchdowns.
“We’ve always established the run first; we’re gonna keep doing that and take pride in it,” said Worrell. “Patino and Littlepage has done a good job of rotating series and keeping them fresh.”
Jackrabbit quarterback Matthew Wallace tossed three touchdowns in their district-opening win over Boyd, but the offense was held back by a stiff Breckenridge defense last week, with Wallace tallying only 71 yards on seven completions in last week’s contest. Despite not taking any punts, and gaining more first downs than the Buckaroos, the Bowie offense as a whole tallied three fumbles, unable to get much going in general.
The Jackrabbits and Eagles have been district bunkmates since Brock’s first foray into UIL district competition in 2014. Brock has won every game against Bowie, but the Rabbits have been perhaps the Eagles toughest opponent in district play, scoring the most points against in two of the three outings, including in Brock’s state championship season in 2015.
“Bowie is well coached, Coach [Dylan] Stark does a great job over there, and he’s a great offensive mind,” Worrell said. “They nearly beat us the first year and played us close the second year. It’s tough to go to Bowie, they seem to play better at home; we know we’re gonna have to bring our best.”
Can the Jackrabbits pull off a shocker? Or will Brock prevail in their quest for another state title?
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