Pleasanton, Fredericksburg earn dramatic Area Round victories; Brennan, Alamo Heights roll into third round; Seniors power Brandeis volleyball to first UIL State title

(KSAT)

The second round of the high school football playoffs certainly proved difficult for San Antonio area teams, but Week 13 of KSAT 12′s Big Game Coverage (BGC) featured a number of games that went right down to the wire, including Pleasanton’s victory over Beeville Jones and Fredericksburg’s comeback win over Calallen. And while the Area Round was wrapping up on Saturday night, Brandeis volleyball made history by claiming the program’s first UIL Class 6A State title in Garland!

Before we touch on the Broncos’ incredible performance, let’s kick off our weekly recap with Week 13′s Best of BGC!

The second 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 Brennan, Wimberley, Shiner, and Lanier!

>> Click here to check out the Best of BGC from Week 13! <<

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

>> See the full Week 14 rankings by clicking here! <<


Week 13′s Game of the Week turned out to be a one-sided affair.

(Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

AUSTIN VANDEGRIFT 38, STEELE 0

The Knights entered Friday night’s matchup against the Vipers boasting an undefeated overall record and one of San Antonio’s top defensive units. They had also won their last two playoff meetings against Vandegrift by at least 17 points.

But the Vipers stole the show offensively right from the get-go, marching down the field for a 7-0 lead on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Brayden Buchanan. On the ensuing drive, Steele was unable to convert on fourth down, and Vandegrift’s offense immediately capitalized with another touchdown, this time a 13-yard strike from Buchanan to Graylan Spring. The game progressed in a similar fashion for the remainder of regulation. The Vipers finished with nearly 500 yards of total offense, while the Knights could only muster 178 yards and zero points. A tough end to an otherwise memorable season for Steele.


THREE DEEP

(KSAT)

PLEASANTON 21, BEEVILLE JONES 20

A quick glance at the final score will tell you just how good this game was.

Quarterback Sean Ramos gave Pleasanton a 14-7 halftime lead by finding wide receiver Jayden Palacios for a crucial eight-yard touchdown with six seconds left in the second quarter. Ramos then carried the team’s momentum into the third quarter and almost immediately broke loose on a 61-yard touchdown run for a commanding 21-7 advantage.

To their credit, the Trojans did not roll over. A 35-yard touchdown pass from Victor Gonzales to Colin Gomez and a five-yard score from Isaiah Gonzalez pulled Beeville Jones within a point with six minutes left in regulation. But the ensuing extra point was no good, and the Eagles managed to hold on for the victory. Running back Joel Arevalo headlined Pleasanton’s rushing attack with 18 carries for 127 yards and the game’s opening touchdown.

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

The Eagles advance to the third round of the Class 4A Division I playoffs, where they will face the winner of:

(BilliesLive)

FREDERICKSBURG 14, CALALLEN 10

For the second straight week, Fredericksburg found themselves trailing in the fourth quarter of a playoff game. The time, instead of their 45-41 shootout in the Bi-District round, the Battlin’ Billies needed to rally against a hard-nosed Calallen defense.

The Wildcats had just kicked a field goal to take a 10-7 lead with four minutes left in regulation. Three plays later, Fredericksburg flipped the script. Quarterback Cole Immel hit Kade Jehnske in stride with a perfect, downfield spiral, and the senior wideout took it the distance for the go-ahead 77-yard touchdown pass. The 14-10 lead proved to be just enough. One final defensive stop sealed the victory, and the Battlin’ Billies’ improbable playoff run rolls into the third round.

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

(KSAT/TSP)

CENTRAL CATHOLIC 38, FT. WORTH ALL SAINTS 28

Central Catholic kept their season alive thanks to yet another efficient offensive outing from quarterback Sylas Gomez.

The Army commit completed 18 of 22 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 16 times for 69 yards and a score on the ground as well. Senior wide receiver Jaxon Deason continues to be a force. He caught both touchdown passes and posted seven catches for 146 yards. Running back Jonah Dunlap added 24 carries for 127 yards and a TD, as the Buttons advance to the TAPPS Division I State semifinals.

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


Hey Greg! What did you think of the the Area Round action?

(KSAT)

The second round of the high school football playoffs proved to be costly for San Antonio-area teams. As many as five teams were eliminated by Austin-area based teams including Steele, Smithson Valley, New Braunfels, East Central and Floresville.

Joining them in season-ending losses were also Boerne Champion, Taft, Lanier and Southwest. That leaves Brennan and Alamo Heights undefeated and moving to the third round of the playoffs this week along with Boerne. And in the area Navarro, Pleasanton, Poth and Falls City. And let’s not forget Cuero and Wimberley who will meet in the Alamodome on Friday at noon.

I can’t remember that many San Antonio area teams that have been defeated in the second round of the post season.

Tip of the hat to Lanier head coach Don Gatian who is officially retired after the Voks season came to an end Saturday in the 42-20 loss to McAllen Memorial. That ends a 40-year coaching career, 24 spent at Lanier.

(KSAT)

The high school volleyball season came to a close with one of the most dramatic matches in recent memory.

After defeating Bridgeland 3-1 in Friday night’s state semifinal, Brandeis took the court at the Curtis Culwell Center with a chance to claim the program’s first UIL State championship. The Broncos faithful braved a five-hour trip to Garland and packed the stands to cheer the team on in their first title match appearance. On the same night Brandeis football alumnus Oscar Cardenas caught a monumental touchdown that lifted UTSA to a thrilling comeback victory over UAB in the Alamodome, the Broncos volleyball team was forced to stage their own comeback against Keller.

Trailing 2-1 after a 25-16 third-set loss, Brandeis found their rhythm offensively thanks to seniors Carlee Pharris and Jalyn Gibson and junior Emma Halstead. Those three had been the main engine for the Broncos’ attack all season long, and they were at their best in crunch time, powering Brandeis to a convincing 25-15 set victory. With senior Ella Chapman leading a ferocious support system from the bench, the Broncos carried all kinds of momentum into a fifth, decisive set. Gibson then earned back-to-back points to give Brandeis match point up 14-11. She finished with a team-high 29 kills en route to tournament Most Valuable Player honors.

But for as dominant as the future Horned Frog was, the final point of the night didn’t come off of her hand. Instead, Pharris found fellow senior Leila Smalls for the game-winning kill. Smalls’ journey to reach that moment was unbelievable. Three different ACL surgeries kept her from playing a full season of high school volleyball until her senior season -- this very season -- but she persevered and proved critical down the stretch of the Broncos’ biggest match in program history.

As the ball ricocheted off of the defenders’ block and out of bounds, Smalls collapsed to the floor along with her incredulous teammates, setting off a wild celebration. They had finally broken through. Brandeis is the first UIL State Class 6A champion from the San Antonio area since Clark had won it all back in 2003. They had already made program history just by taking the floor in Garland. Now, they’re a part of forever.

On Friday afternoon, the Canyon Cougarettes also competed in the Class 5A State semifinals against Grapevine, but came up short in a five-set thriller. You can watch a full recap of their match by clicking here.

And one final congratulations to Schertz John Paul II for winning the TAPPS 4A state title 3-2 over Pantego Christian Academy over the weekend as well!


ROUND THREE PREVIEW COMING THURSDAY!

We’ll have a full playoff preview of the third 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.