New Braunfels edges Johnson in epic shootout; East Central wins defensive battle against Reagan; Brandeis, Canyon volleyball heading to UIL State

Fredericksburg upends Somerset with fourth-quarter comeback; Lanier holds off Southside to keep season alive

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What a first week of playoff action! Week 12 of KSAT 12′s Big Game Coverage (BGC) was chock-full of big performances, incredible comebacks and shocking upsets from start to finish. History was made and seasons were ended on gridirons all across the San Antonio area.

Let’s kick off our weekly recap by going over Week 12′s Best of BGC!

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The first week of playoff action featured all kinds of amazing plays from the greater San Antonio area. Check out the best of the best, including plays from Madison, Johnson, Holy Cross, East Central and Brennan!

>> Click here to check out the Best of BGC from Week 12! <<

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How did all of the upsets affect KSAT 12′s Top 12? Find out who’s in and who’s out of our rankings as we prepare for the second week of the playoffs!

>> See the full Week 13 rankings by clicking here! <<


Week 12′s Game of the Week might just have been the Game of the Year!

(Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)
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NEW BRAUNFELS 51, JOHNSON 45

Somehow, the phrase “instant classic” doesn’t feel strong enough to describe the unmitigated insanity of Friday night’s showdown between the Unicorns and Jaguars at Heroes Stadium.

New Braunfels (9-2) stunned undefeated Johnson (10-1) in the Class 6A Division II Bi-District round thanks in part to a first-half offensive onslaught. After falling behind 3-0, the Unicorns scored the next 20 points of the game. Tyree Johnson returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, quarterback Aiden Baumann hit wide receiver Lance Beeghley for a 3-yard score and running back Ryker Purdy found the endzone three times as New Braunfels built a 34-20 lead at halftime.

The lead ballooned to 21 points when Baumann found Beeghley again for a leaping 21-yard touchdown grab on the opening drive of the third quarter. But Johnson had trailed in a big game before. They were down by 19 points before rallying to win their Week 10 matchup against Reagan 46-43 in overtime, and soon after they fell behind 41-20, the Jaguars hit their stride with a 14-point third quarter. Running back Ben McCreary added to his remarkable season with a touchdown run and finished with 136 yards from scrimmage. Then, after Johnson held New Braunfels to a field goal, quarterback Cruz Kirwan found Ty Hawkins for a 47-yard score, and the Jaguars were only down by 10 points entering the fourth quarter.

Purdy stemmed the tide with yet another touchdown. His seven-yard tally capped a monster night: 23 carries for 130 yards and four scores. The Unicorns led 51-34 with 7:31 remaining. But a little more than one minute later, trickeration in the backfield led to Kirwan finding Canaan Fairley on a 26-yard touchdown strike that cut the lead back down to just nine points. Kirwan finished the night completing 34 passes for 430 yards and three scores. Harrison Stone’s 30-yard field goal with 2:17 left made it a six-point ballgame, and the Jaguars got the ball back with a chance to drive for the win.

It seemed like the comeback was inevitable. Johnson took it all the way down to the 10-yard line with 27 seconds left in regulation. They would get no closer. After four incomplete passes and a mandatory offensive penalty, the Jaguars’ final attempt on a double-reverse pass skipped off the ground well short of the goal line, signaling an end to one of the craziest games this season. New Braunfels rushed the field to celebrate the program’s first playoff win since 2009.

THREE DEEP

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EAST CENTRAL 14, REAGAN 7

District 27-6A just had 28-6A’s number in the Bi-District round. East Central’s victory over Reagan was part of a district-wide sweep, as the Hornets joined New Braunfels, Smithson Valley and Steele in advancing to the next round.

The Rattlers took control of a scoreless game midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Lance Lorenz hit Gabriel Foltz in stride for a 22-yard touchdown that gave Reagan a 7-0 lead. That would be the last time the Rattlers would put points on the board.

East Central chipped away at the lead with a pair of Daniel Gauna field goals. His first make, a 25-yarder, cut the deficit down to four points at the end of the first half. His second make from 42 yards away made it a one point game in the third quarter. It wasn’t until crunch time that the Hornets’ offense finally broke through.

Quarterback Caden Bosanko escaped the pocket and found wide receiver Jack Stewart downfield for a huge gain that gave East Central a first down inside the 15-yard line with a little over four-and-a-half minutes left on the clock. Three plays later, Bosanko found Jonathan Martinez for the go-ahead, 11-yard touchdown with 2:41 left to play. The Hornets defense had final say. Cornell George laid a huge hit on Lorenz that jarred the ball loose, and Sebastian Martinez scooped up the fumble. East Central then ran out the clock to clinch their first playoff win since 2012.

>> Click here to watch all of the highlights from Friday night! <<

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FREDERICKSBURG 45, SOMERSET 41

Somerset took the field by breaking through one of the funniest banners you will ever see.

“Tell your girlfriends you’ll be free next Friday,” it said.

Turns out, Fredericksburg’s significant others will have to wait another week.

The Battlin’ Billies rolled out to a 14-0 lead thanks to a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cole Immel and a jaw-dropping 73-yard pick six from James Sebera. But Somerset hung around thanks to a pick six of their own from Romeo Faz and two touchdowns from quarterback Koal Detmer, as the Bulldogs entered halftime trailing 27-21.

Somerset then seized control of the game with 17 straight points. Running back Jacob Alcorta capped a 77-yard night with a two-yard score and Detmer found the endzone for the third time with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jaxon Gutierrez to build a 38-27 lead. Detmer’s final stat-line: 24-of-43, 331 yards, two passing TDs and one rushing TD.

It just wasn’t enough to secure the victory. Immel kick-started Fredericksburg’s rally with a 28-yard touchdown strike to Mason Reeh late in the third quarter. Jesse Leija reached paydirt early in the fourth quarter to give the Battlin’ Billies the lead again, 39-38. Somerset answered with a 20-yard field goal from Justin Valenzuela on the ensuing drive, but Sam Seidenberger delivered the dagger, racing to the endzone for the game-winning, seven-yard score with 2:42 left in regulation.

Now, Fredericksburg has a date with Calallen this coming Friday in the Area round of the playoffs.

>> Click here to watch all of the highlights from the Road Trip! <<

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LANIER 21, SOUTHSIDE 14

Head coach Don Gatian’s Voks will play one more game!

Lanier jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a 15-yard touchdown run from Mario Torres and a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Xavier Tellez to Jonah Apreciado. Southside countered with a 14-0 run of their own in the second quarter. Quarterback Isaiah Moreno found the endzone on a one-yard keeper early in the frame and then connected with Enrique Castillo on a 65-yard touchdown pass at the very end of the first half to tie the game at 14-all.

After a scoreless third quarter, Tellez finally broke the tie early in the fourth on a 17-yard TD run. He only completed four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown, but he also ran 31 times for 115 yards and the game-winning score, as the Voks move on to the Area round.

>> Click here to watch all of the highlights from Thursday night! <<


Hey Greg! What did you think of the first week of playoff action?

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The playoffs could have not started off with a bigger bang than two major upsets right out of the gate: New Braunfels upsetting previously-undefeated and No. 3 Johnson and East Central’s defensive stand and late score to end Reagan‘s season.

The Unicorns’ magical win may not be as surprising when you consider what district they had to compete in: 27-6A. Their only losses came against Smithson Valley and Steele. New Braunfels outscored the Jaguars 51-45 in a game that went back and forth after the Unicorns had gotten out to a surprising 20-3 lead.

New Braunfels helped complete a postseason sweep of 28-6A teams by 27-6A squads. That’s after East Central stunned Reagan, Steele defeated Brandeis 42-14, and finally Smithson Valley ended Madison’s season 35-25.

How about the Lanier Voks who have advanced to the second round? They defeated Southside on Saturday afternoon 21-14.

Cannot wait for Week 2 of the playoffs!

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Second chances are rare in sports, especially at the high school level. After coming up short in last year’s regional finals, the Brandeis and Canyon volleyball teams made the most of their second opportunities this time around and punched their tickets to Garland for the UIL State volleyball tournament.

The Broncos are heading to the Curtis Culwell Center for the first time in program history. Brandeis swept Harlan in the regional semifinals on Friday night, then swept Austin Vandegrift in convincing fashion in Saturday afternoon’s regional final at a raucous Alamo Convocation Center. TCU commit Jalyn Gibson led the way with a team-high 17 kills, while fellow future Horned Frog Carlee Pharris dished out 31 assists. Junior Emma Halstead helped seal the victory during a 9-0 run midway through the third set. She finished with 14 kills and three aces, including the game-winning spike on match point. Brandeis (45-2) will face Bridgeland (39-11) in the Class 6A State Semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m.

Canyon returns to the Curtis Culwell Center for the first time since 2015. The Cougarettes rolled past Gregory-Portland in the Class 5A regional semis, then exacted a measure of revenge against Dripping Springs -- the team that ended their season last year -- in Saturday afternoon’s regional final at Northside Sports Gym. Maya Jones posted a team-high 13 kills, Kyla Malone added 12 and Megan Hawkins finished with 37 assists, as Canyon swept the Tigers 25-15, 25-22, 25-18. The Cougarettes last won a state title back in 1983 as a Class 4A program. Matches were best-of-three, first-to-15 points back then. This year’s squad is 43-8 overall, and they will get their own chance to write history in Friday afternoon’s Class 5A State Semifinal against Grapevine (21-17). The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.


ROUND TWO PREVIEW COMING THURSDAY!

We’ll have a full playoff preview of the second round coming up later this week on KSAT.com. Stay tuned!

Andrew Cely, KSAT 12 Sports Producer and Reporter

If you have any questions about this newsletter or story ideas for the season ahead, feel free to reach me via email at acely@ksat.com.


About the Author:

Andrew has covered athletics of all levels for more than five years and is dedicated to shining a spotlight on local San Antonio athletes and their stories.