Brahmas turns attention to semifinal game


Dec. 13, 2012 at 6:13 a.m.

East Bernard football players received a not so subtle reminder almost anywhere they went on campus this week.

Coach Jerry Long had signs strategically placed around school saying, 'It's The Next Two That Count."

Long's message was simple. The Brahmas should be proud of last week's 59-23 Class 2A, Division II quarterfinal win over top-ranked Refugio, but it's time to move on to the next challenge.

"We started that Saturday morning," Long said. "There's no doubt that was a huge win for our program and the kids are very excited and it is well deserved. To be 13-0 is awesome. But we told them, it's the next two that count."

First up for the Brahmas is a semifinal contest against Elysian Fields (11-3) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco.

Elysian Fields is coming off a 21-14 quarterfinal win over Hughes Springs.

The Yellowjackets lost to Hughes Springs 55-14 earlier this season in a District 9-2A game.

"Elysian Fields had like four or five turnovers in the first game," Long said. "We went up and watched Saturday's game and they were playing hard and found a way to win."

Elysian Fields quarterback Trevor Spear has passed for 2,127 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 1,163 yards and 20 touchdowns.

"They're from East Texas and you have to deal with their speed," Long said. "They've got a good quarterback and they find a way to make plays. They also have some tradition. They played in the state final as recently as 2007."

East Bernard outscored Refugio 46-0 in the second half last week.

Ty Slanina had touchdown runs of 67, 28 and 33 yards, caught a 55-yard touchdown pass, and had one of the Brhamas' three interceptions in the second half.

But it was business as usual for East Bernard this week.

"Routine is big for our kids and it's important that we perfect the little things," Long said. "With the state championship game on a Thursday, someone is going to have to play two games in 11 days.

"That's why it's so important for fundamentals and those kind of things to become habit. You have to stay sharp mentally and physically."

The Brahmas are making their first semifinal appearance since 1982 when they defeated Groveton 28-7 before dropping a 28-6 decision to Eastland in the Class 2A final.

East Bernard won the Class 1A state title in 1977 with a 27-10 win over Seagraves in the final.

"This is a great group of kids who have one goal in mind," Long said. "If we're fortunate, we'll get to keep going."

NOTES• The game will be broadcast on the Internet at

• The winner will advance to the state final against the winner of Friday night's Sonora-Corsicana Mildred game in Marble Falls. The state final will be played Thursday at 8 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Slanina has rushed for 1,022 yards and 20 touchdowns, passed for 465 yards and and seven touchdowns, and has 288 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions.

East Bernard has forced 33 turnovers, including 20 interceptions.

Grant Aschenbeck has five interceptions, Slanina has four, and Trevor Long and Victor Pettit each have three.



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