Home News Gameday The Statman Speaks: Brandeis vs. Taft, O'Connor vs. Brennan

The Statman Speaks: Brandeis vs. Taft, O'Connor vs. Brennan

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On Thursday, I was at Farris Stadium for a District 27-6A “win and advance or lose and go home” game between the Brandeis Broncos and Taft Raiders and on Friday, I was at the District 27-6A championship game between the O’Connor Panthers and Brennan Bears.

Before the season started, I penciled Brandeis to be playing Brennan for the District 27-6A championship game. I was half correct!

Brandeis and Taft played in Week 5 and Brandeis crushed them by a score of 55 to 14. Because of the implications of the game on Thursday, I was definitely not expecting a similar score.


Both of these teams have really great senior running backs. For Taft, it is Christian Mallard. Coming into this game, he had 1,267 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns. I learned later in the game that he will be attending The Air Force Academy (same place as former Spur, David Robinson). WOW – athletic and smart! Mallard’s older sister attended West Point.

The Brandeis Broncos have 2 running backs and they are seniors Jaylon Dukes and Tommy Woods. Thru Week 10, Dukes had 1,169 rushing yards with 14 touchdowns and Woods had 779 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns. Brandeis also has a senior quarterback, Paul Lozano, who has been the starter for the past 2 years. He doesn’t get enough credit for how well he plays and manages the game.

Would you believe me that only 1 of these running backs had over 100 rushing yards in the game and it was a similar score to Week 5? Well, folks, believe it because that really happened.

At halftime, Brandeis led 23 to 14. A close game indeed!! Brandeis got the ball first in the 3rd quarter and Jaylon Dukes scored on a 23 yard run. Then, it was the Paul Lozano passing showcase show-down (sweet, my first Price is Right mention ever). After 3 quarters, Brandeis led 36 to 14.   In the 4th quarter, senior wide receiver, Jakobe Jones scored his first rushing touchdown of the season for the Brandeis Broncos. Taft’s final score of the season came from their senior quarterback. Tommy Woods, the Brandeis running back, scored the last points of the game with under 6 minutes remaining.

The final score was Brandeis 50 and Taft 21. Brandeis will play the Corpus Christi Carroll Tigers in Corpus Christi on Friday in the first round of the 2015 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS.   The Taft Raiders season is over.

Taft’s Christian Mallard had 12 carries for 107 yards with 2 touchdowns. One of his touchdowns was incredible as another Taft running back fumbled the ball at the 5 yard line and it rolled awkwardly into the end zone – Mallard spotted the ball (and we was behind the lime of scrimmage) and somehow he recovered the ball in the end-zone for a touchdown. His other touchdown was for 75 yards. I have had the pleasure to see Mallard several times and he is a winner who never gives up.   Mallards final high school football stats numbers are 610 carries for 3,923 yards with 44 touchdowns. Good luck at Air Force.

Paul Lozano, the Brandeis quarterback, was 9 of 15 passing for 260 yards with 2 touchdowns. One of those touchdown passes came in the 3rd quarter and it was for 92 yards. Jaylon Dukes had 12 carries for 98 yards with 3 touchdowns and Tommy Woods had 13 carries for 41 yards with 1 touchdown. The leading receiver was Sean Mellish who had 2 receptions for 124 yards with 1 touchdown.

The District 27-6A championship game was the Brennan Bears and the O’Connor Panthers. I have always been on the Brennan bandwagon and have worked a lot of their key games but because of how impressive O’Connor was when they defeated Brandeis in Week 9, I was rooting for the Panthers to win. This would also be the first match-up of these 2 powerhouses and I was expecting this to be an instant classic.

Unlike Brandeis and Taft, where the winner (Brandeis) advanced to the playoffs, both Brennan and O’Connor have already made the playoffs so basically all that was on the line was the insignificant title of District 27-6A champions. I gotta be honest folks, the atmosphere didn’t feel like a championship game. I really thought their would be more than 3,542 fans at the game.

The O’Connor Panthers only 2 losses this season came to the Steele Knights and the Reagan Rattlers who are the only undefeated 6A San Antonio teams. They use 2 quarterbacks – senior Clayton Maxwell and sophomore Roel Sanchez who have combined for over 1,800 passing yards with 17 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. The leading receivers are junior Johnathan Tapia and sophomore Millard Bradford. The running back is senior Jamontae Edwards who coming into the game had 771 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns. O’Connor is one of the most balanced offenses I have seen this year.

Brennan, on the other hand, runs the ball the majority of the time and do it extremely well. Sophomore Jahmyl Jeter, led the team coming into the game, with 825 yards and 13 touchdowns. Seniors Devonte Warren and Taveon Tolefree have combined for 1,210 yards with 18 touchdowns. The leading receiver for Brennan is senior Dayne Thomas.

OK, so now that we familiar with the players, let’s talk about the game which was very close – even though the final score was 35 to 21.

The Brennan Bears scored first on a 33 yard touchdown pass to Dayne Thomas. Dayne better have several college’s recruiting him because he can flat out play. After the 1st quarter, Brennan led O’Connor 7 to 0.

Taveon Tolefree, the Brennan quarterback, scored on a 9 yard touchdown run early in the 2nd quarter and the lead for Brennan increased to 14 to 0. O’Connor answered with a 57 yard touchdown reception from Clayton Maxwell to Johnathan Tapia. Jamontae Edwards, the O’Connor running back, scored on a 6 yard run and just like that the score was tied at 14. As the 2nd quarter was coming to a finish, Brennan’s Devonte Warren scored on a 32 yard reception. At halftime, Brennan led 21 to 14 over O’Connor.

Jamontae Edwards, the O’Connor running back, scored on a 3 yard run to end the 3rd quarter and again, we were tied.

With under 5 minutes left in the game and the score still tied at 21, Jahmyl Jeter, the outstanding sophomore running back for Brennan took matters into his own hands (or legs) and scored 2 rushing touchdowns to clinch the District 27-6A championship for the Brennan Bears.

The final score was Brennan 35 and O’Connor 21. The Brennan Bears will play the Corpus Christi King Mustangs at Farris stadium on Thursday and The O’Connor Panthers will play the Southwest Dragons at Gustafson stadium also on Thursday.

Roel Sanchez and Clayton Maxwell, the O’Connor quarterbacks combined for 201 passing yards with 1 touchdown. Jamontae Edwards, the O’Connor running back, had 19 carries for 89 yards with 2 touchdowns.

Jahmyl Jeter, the sophomore running back for Brennan led the ground game with 10 carries for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. Devonte Warren has 12 carries for 53 yards and Taveon Tolefree had 11 carries for 58 yards with 1 touchdowns. My man, Dayne Thomas, had 5 receptions for 72 yards with 1 touchdown.

I know a lot of media folks are talking about Judson and Steele and how they are San Antonio’s best chance for winning a state championship this year in Houston – but don’t be surprised if Brandeis or Brennan makes an appearance.

Here are a few photos from the games:

 

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