Brahmas playoff run ends
Nov. 25, 2011 at 5:25 a.m.
Updated Nov. 26, 2011 at 5:26 a.m.
GIDDINGS - For six weeks, the Hallettsville Brahmas played at a high level and surprised people around the Crossroads by not only making it to the Class 2A, Div. I playoffs, but winning two games.
The surprise season came to an end at Buffalo Stadium on Friday at the hands of a familiar foe: Hempstead.
The Bobcats' Archie Taylor ran for 215 yards and three touchdowns while freshman defensive back Will Smith intercepted Brahma quarterback Braden Kahanek three times as the District 14 rival eliminated Hallettsville 34-0.
"The kids made 'team' a true word," said Hallettsville head coach Tommy Psencik about the 2011 season, adding that the Brahmas defined the word "team."
The game served as a farewell for Kahanek and the nine seniors on the Hallettsville roster. The team finished with a 7-6 record while Hempstead improved to 12-0 and will play either Blanco or Lago Vista in the regional quarterfinals.
Kahanek completed 14-of-35 passes for 150 yards, but was sacked five times and intercepted four times. Senior wide receiver Trevor McGee also had a strong performance, catching four receptions for 92 yards in his final game for the Brahmas.
"We're definitely going to be remembered," Kahanek said about the Brahmas this season. "From where we came from to where we are, people are going to remember."
It was Hempstead's second win of the season over Hallettsville. The Bobcats beat the Brahmas 35-13 on Oct. 7.
Although Hallettsville struggled to move the ball all night. When the Brahmas finally got some momentum on their side in their final possession of the first half, Hempstead quickly took it back.
Hallettsville drove from their own 11 to the Hempstead 29 and looked to get on the scoreboard before halftime, but the Bobcat defense forced a turnover on downs.
"We were hoping for a score there," Psencik said. "Hats off to them. They made the plays when they had to and they outplayed us tonight."
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Hempstead called a perfectly executed hook and ladder. Wilder threw 13 yards downfield to Trechel Momon, who lateralled back to Taylor, who ran it to the Hallettsville 18.
Herman Sanchez hit his second field goal of the game as time expired to put Hempstead ahead 27-0 at halftime.
The Bobcat defense was swarming all night. Hallettsville managed only 196 yards of total offense and the five sacks accounted for a loss of 22 yards.
"They have so much speed and that's something you can't compete with when you don't have as much speed," Kahanek said.
After the teams exchanged possessions to open the game, Taylor took over. The running back scored from 3 and 14-yards out in a five-minute span to put the Bobcats ahead 14-0 in the first minute of the second quarter.
After Smith came up with his first interception, Hempstead drove 51 yards on an eight-play scoring drive that culminated in Taylor's second touchdown of the night.
Taylor added his third score of the first half with 7:19 remaining.
"He's awesome. He's a good kid and a good athlete," Psencik said. "He could play on a lot of teams in the state of Texas."
Taylor only made one mistake all night, but the Brahmas couldn't capitalize on it. Early in the third quarter, Taylor took a pitch and went back to pass on a flea flicker. Taylor let fly an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Hallettsville junior defensive lineman Troy Murphy at the Bobcats 14.
On the ensuing drive, Kahanek threw four straight incompletions.
Later in the quarter, the Brahmas used good field position to get to the Bobcat 18, but Smith came up with his third interception and Hallettsville wouldn't threaten after that.
The Bobcats final score was set up by a Taylor 77-yard run late in the third quarter. Obie Wilder's 7-yard pass to Momon capped the scoring with 11:54 remaining.
Although the season is over for the Brahmas, Hallettsville has something it can build on after winning six of their final nine games of the season. The team also had quality performances from young starters like Teidrick Smith and Tim Sheppard.
"The majority of our defensive front is back and we've got some good young ones coming," Psencik said.
Smith, a junior, carried the ball four times for 14 yards and caught a pair of passes for 17 yards. Sheppard, a sophomore, carried the ball six times for 27 yards.