Brock running back Zakk Young made his only reception of the night a big one.
Young’s 1-yard touchdown catch, from quarterback Takota Taylor, with 5 seconds left in the game capped an improbable comeback as the Eagles escaped with a 23-21 victory over Shallowater in a Class 3A Division I quarterfinal Thursday at the Mustang Bowl.
“It was a wild one,” said Young, who rushed 17 times for 116 yards in the game. “Coach really didn’t have anything planned for that time, but we came through and executed and that’s all that matters.”
Brock will play the winner of the Atlanta (8-5)-Malakoff (10-2) tilt, that will be played on Saturday, in the semifinals. The time, date and site is to be determined.
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Shallowater (13-1), ranked No. 10 in the final Associated Press Class 3A state poll, had taken a 21-17 lead with 1:47 left in the game on a 1-yard run by quarterback Cutter Sparks. The play was set up by a 53-yard punt return by Hayden Vanderroest down to the Brock 2.
Brock (13-1), No. 3 in the AP poll, took over at its own 41 after the kickoff. A 15-yard pass play from Taylor to Landon Hoffman on a 4th and 8 gave the Eagles a first down at the Shallowater 32. On third down, Taylor hit tight end Baylor Cupp with a middle screen pass for 17 yards down to the Mustangs’ 15.
Two runs for 14 yards by Toby Morrison set up the final play. Morrison led Brock with 142 rushing yards on 25 carries and had touchdown runs of 25 and 17 yards. The latter gave Brock a 17-14 lead with 8:51 left in the fourth quarter.
“It was just insane, I couldn’t even feel my heart the whole time,” said Taylor of the final touchdown. Taylor wound up 6 of 11 for 83 yards passing. “Coach called the perfect play and I just got in there and threw it. We executed it perfectly.”
Sparks was a thorn in the side of Brock all night rushing for 204 hard-earned yards on 25 carries and a pair of 1-yard TD runs. His 92-yard run from the Shallowater 1 to the Brock 7 set up a 4-yard Braxton Jurado scoring run with 5:32 left in the third quarter.
That looked to be the end of the Eagles who were down 14-3, but Brock battled back with the two Morrison scoring runs.
It was a battle from the start as Brock took the opening kick and drove from its own 25 to the Shallowater 10, highlighted by a 44-yard pass play from quarterback Takota Taylor to Baylor Cupp. The drive stalled there and the Eagles had to settle for a 27-yard Tatum Saathoff field goal and a 3-0 lead with 7:03 left in the first quarter.
Shallowater answered with a 12-play, 79-yard drive, surviving 20 yards in penalties along the way, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Mustangs quarterback Cutter Sparks. Shallowater took a 7-3 with 1:06 left in the opening stanza.
Timely defense ruled the rest of the first half.
Shallowater’s Sebastian Gandara picked off a Brock pass at the Mustangs’ 39 yard line on the Eagles’ ensuing possession. Two plays later Sparks fumbled the ball back to Brock. Jase Lopez fell on the loose ball at the Shallowater 29, but the Mustangs’ defense rose up and Brock lost the ball on downs 8 plays later at the 13.
Shallowater drove from there to the Brock 49, but the Eagles held and forced a punt. Shallowater defensive back Tyler Williams picked off another Brock pass, this time at the Mustangs’ 27 yard line, with 39 seconds left in the first half.