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Beavers pound on Badgers, advance to state quarterfinals
Seniors Tyler Wiatrek (16), Scott Lyssy (59), and Austin Custer (51) raise their helmets in victory after their battle with the Bruni Badgers.
Falls City 47
CORPUS CHRISTI -- It doesn’t seem to happen as often as one might expect, but every now and then, a pair of teams from the same district cross paths in the playoffs. That happened last Friday night when Falls City and Bruni squared off at Calallen High School. The Beavers won the district meeting back on Oct. 28 by the score of 49-14, and then nearly duplicated their efforts with a 47-19 win over the Badgers in the regional semifinals.
The Beavers lit up the scoreboard first during the contest, when Phillip Lyssy polished off a Falls City drive with a 4-yard touchdown run from scrimmage. Scott Lyssy then kicked the extra point for the Beavers, and the score was 7-0 with 7:03 to play in the first.
The Badgers came back strong, however, and moved into position to tie the game after a thrilling 58-yard touchdown run from Oliver Chapa. The point-after was no good, though, and the Beavers clung to a 1-point lead with 1:45 to play in the quarter.
The Beavers don’t like to be scored on, and Falls City wasted little time responding to the Bruni touchdown by scoring another of their own. Junior quarterback Cameron Soto found some running room in the final ticks of the first quarter, and scored from 13 yards out to make it a 13-6 contest.
Midway through the second quarter, the Beaver offense scored its third touchdown of the game as Soto walked in from 2 yards out. Scott Lyssy added the extra point, and the lead was 20-6 for the defending state champs.
A minute later, the Badgers found the end zone on a nice 20-yard passing play from Chapa to Martin Benavides. Bruni went for the 2-point conversion, but fell short, leaving the score at 20-12 with 4:13 remaining in the half.
The first half ended without any additional scoring, but it was Falls City that again struck first in the second half.
With just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, Cody Jendrusch capped off a Falls City scoring drive with a 3-yard run from scrimmage. Scott Lyssy kicked the extra point for the Beavers, and the lead was 27-12.
Bruni came back in the closing minutes of the third quarter, though, scoring on a Randy Castillo 2-yard run. The touchdown and extra point gave the Badgers hope, as it was once again a one-possession game with the score standing at 27-19.
Unfortunately for Bruni, that was as close as the Badgers would come to dethroning the Beavers. Falls City turned up the heat in the fourth quarter, scoring three additional touchdowns.
The first score of the final stanza came through the air, as Soto hit Dean Gaskamp for 11 yards and the score. Tyler Wiatrek broke one loose from 41 yards out to score with 7:19 to play in the game, and Jon Swierc rumbled 28 yards for a Beaver touchdown to close out the fourth-quarter scoring barrage. Falls City converted on two of three extra-point attempts, and the Beavers celebrated a 47-19 victory.
The Beaver defense played a great game in Corpus Christi, holding the Badgers to 226 total yards of offense. Bruni ran the ball 42 times for 171 yards, and completed 4 of 5 passing attempts for just 55 yards. The Beavers forced the Badgers to punt the ball four times, and were able to recover one fumble.
On offense, the Beavers looked good, putting up a total of 493 yards of offense. While Falls City ran the ball one time fewer than Bruni (41), they earned more than twice as many yards at 346. The Beavers also completed four passes for another 147 yards.
Wiatrek led the Beaver ground game with nine carries for 155 yards, followed by Soto with 82 yards on 17 touches. Phillip Lyssy ran nine times for 53 yards, and Swierc had four carries for 37 yards. Stephen Poole had a carry for 16 yards, and Jendrusch had the touchdown run of 3 yards.
Wiatrek pulled in two of Soto’s passes for 107 yards, Phillip Lyssy caught a pass for 29 yards, and Gaskamp had the touchdown grab of 11 yards.
With the win, the Beavers improve their overall record to 10-2, and will now advance to the regional championship/state quarterfinals.
In the state quarterfinals, which also serves as the Region IV title game, the Beavers will meet up with the 11-2 Burton Panthers. The game will be played this Friday, Dec. 2, at Buda Hays High School. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
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