Big second half boosts Ozona over Dogs

The Ozona Lions displayed their peseverance here last Friday, overcoming a terrific first half by the Brady Bulldogs, to rebound in the second half for a 32-15 non- district victory. The Lions, a classy Class 2A team, is 2-0 on the season while the Dogs drop to 1-1. The Bulldogs, showing spunk themselves, went ahead in the game with four seconds left in the first half on a “Hail Mary” throw by QB Paden Behrens to WR Channing Booker that covered 53 yards and provided Brady’s second touchdown. The subsequent extra point try succeeded when holder Cole Whisenhunt grabbed a low snap and scampered for the two-point conversion. That made it 15-13 at intermission. The Bulldogs had amassed 180 yards in total offense, compared to Ozona’s 99 yards at halftime. “I thought the late touchdown would spark us for the second half, but it was Ozona that surged to the front,” Brady coach Todd Bandy lamented. The Steve Taylor-coached Ozona squad came out of the dressing room and completely dominated the game the entire 24 minutes of the second half. The Lions ended the contest with 247 yards in total offense and three touchdowns while the Bulldogs could muster only sixteen total yards and no touchdowns. Ozona more than doubled the number of plays run in the second half by to Brady. The Lions ran 36 plays from scrimmage while the Bulldogs only had 14. In summing up the game, Brady coach Todd Bandy said, “It’s hard to beat a good football team when you have five turnovers (three lost fumbles and two interceptions).” “We were disappointed in our turnovers. We must cut out those mistakes in order to win,” he said. Bandy said that the Ozona coach said that “we just gave them the game,” he said. Bandy pulled starting QB Behrens in the third quarter after his second interception. “We tried to get things going in the second half and bad things happened,” he said Monday. The star of the game was Ozona’s RB-LB Jarryd Taylor, son of the coach. He scored four TDs’three rushing and one receiving. He also was a rugged tackler and leader on defense. He collected 140 yards rushing on 24 carries and caught two passes for 47 yards. “We have to stop runners like Taylor. We’ll see several others this season that are just as good as he is,” the Brady coach said. He also said that the Bulldogs were hurt by the loss. “That’s fine, but we have to put it behind us and come back with a good attitude.” Game summary: Brady won the toss and elected to receive. The Bulldogs could do nothing on their possession, and Shields punted on fourth down out of bounds at the Ozona 35. A 15-yard penalty was assessed to the Dogs on the play and the Lions started at the midfield stripe. On third and eight at the 42, QB Clay Hale hooked up with Taylor for a 12-yard pass play that placed the ball at the Brady 36. Six running plays later Taylor ran around right end for the 13-yard TD. Bryan Skehan booted the point, and Ozona held an early 7-0 lead with 6:01 left in the first period. After Behrens ran for a first down, he handed to flanker C.J. Villegas on an inside reverse and the speedy senior darted and dashed for a 22-yard gain to the Ozona 32. On the next play Behrens passed for a 12- yard gain to Villegas, but he fumbled, and Ozona recovered at the Lions’ 21. Penalties and sound defense pushed the Lions back to their own 8. On fourth down Doug Duncan’s punt died at the Lions 42. The Dogs could not move the ball and on fourth and 11, Shields punted out of bounds at the Ozona 20. Casey Long and others stopped the Lions and Duncan punted 32 yards to the Brady 34. On first down Shields fumbled and Brad Mayfield recovered at the Brady 35. On the next play Taylor took a pitchout from Hale and sped untouched 35 yards for Ozona’s second TD. Skehan’s kick failed, and the score was 13-0 with 9:17 left in the first half. Ozona had pooch kicked all night long. This time Booker returned it to the Bulldog 41. From that spot, the Dogs put together their only scoring drive of the game. On second down Behrens found WR Mackey Crawford over the middle for a 20- yard completion and run play. Two plays later Behrens hit Villegas for a 12-yard pass that placed the ball at the Ozona 29. Two consecutive penalties by the Lions’a roughing the pass violation and a pass interference step-off’placed the ball at the Ozona 2. After an incomplete pass, Airheart darted across the goal line. Shields’ kick was true, and the Bulldogs trailed only 13-7 with 6:29 left in the second quarter. With Taylor on the sidelines nursing a series of leg cramps, the Lions marched from their own 28 Brady territory before Duncan’s 15- yard punt gave the Bulldogs possession at their own 31. Brady got one first down on a Behrens-to- Shields pass for 13 yards then on fourth down at the Brady 49, the Dogs went for it on fourth down with 1:08 left in the first half. Ozona took over on downs, and after two incomplete Hale passes, Brady linebacker Carter McBee sacked Hale for a four-yard loss. On fourth down Duncan’s punt of 28 yards was returned by Villegas five yards to the Bulldog 30. Following a delay penalty, on third and 20 at the Brady 20, Behrens passed to Booker for 27 yards with only seconds left in the half. On the next play, Behrens escaped a couple of Ozona defenders, scrambled to his left and hurled a 55-yard pass to the end zone. Booker snared the bomb and clutched it to his hip as he fell to the ground in the end zone. Brady fans went crazy as they celebrated the remarkable play. Whisenhunt performed his miracle on the extra point attempt for two points, and all of a sudden the Bulldogs were ahead, 15-13, with only four seconds left in the second period. The large crowd at the game saw two exceptional bands perform at intermission. Jeffrey Bierman kicked off to begin the third quarter and J.D. Porrego returned the kickoff to the Ozona 22 where he returned it to the Lion 45 before fumbling. In a wild melee Duncan recovered at the Brady 45. Taylor led off the drive with a 21 yard run, then capped it five plays later with a six-yard run. Taylor carried all six plays of the drive, covering a 10-yard holding penalty en route. Crawford prevented the two-point conversion by Hale on a pass play. The six points made it 19-15 with 8:35 left in the third quarter. Brady took over at their 20 after the kickoff. On the second play, Behrens had his pass intercepted by Porrego and returned to the Bulldog 19. The Dogs held Ozona on four downs and took over at their own 11, but three plays later, Trey Collis intercepted another Behrens pass and returned it eight yards to the Brady 20. Four plays later, after a 19-yard jaunt by Hale, Mayfield notched a two-yard TD run. Hale’s pass failed on the conversion, and it was 25-15 with 1:59 left in the third frame. Matthew Watson recovered Pagan’s onside kick, and the Dogs had possession at their own 49. On first down, Behrens was crushed by Taylor, and Duncan recovered the fumble at the Brady 44. Following a first down, the fourth quarter began and Ozona, led by the ever-present Taylor, scored in nine plays with Taylor doing the honors from four yards out. This time Skehan kicked the point after, and the Lions led 32-15 with 8:40 left in the game. Levi Bandy took over as quarterback for the Bulldogs, but the Brady eleven still couldn’t move the chains. On fourth down Shields’ 35-yard punt was fair caught at the Ozona 27. With reserves in for both teams, the Lions drove to the Brady 48 where McBee hit Hale, forced a fumble, and he recovered at the Ozona 40. Airheart got 14 on first down, but the march crumbled under a penalty and two incomplete passes, and Ozona took over on downs and ran out the clock. The Bulldogs will be on the road Friday facing Sonora while the Lions will host Fort Stockton.

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