In a decisive victory, the Bellville Brahmas defeated the Jasper Bulldogs with a commanding score of 31-7 in the quarterfinals of the 2023 UIL Texas Football State Championships. The high-stakes game, played under fair weather conditions but on a soggy field, saw a crowd of at least 1,000 spectators played at Woodforest Stadium in Conroe ISD.
First Quarter: A Strong Start for Jasper – The game kicked off with Bellville sending the ball to Jasper. Jasper quickly capitalized on the opportunity, with Kiotti Armstrong catching a 14-yard pass for a touchdown, putting Jasper in the lead 7-0 after a successful PAT.
Bellville’s Comeback: Bellville, undeterred, responded with vigor. After a series of punts from both teams, Bellville’s DD Murray broke through Jasper’s defense for a 10-yard rushing touchdown, leveling the score at 7-7. The momentum shifted as Fernando Grajales of Bellville nailed a 25-yard field goal, edging Bellville ahead 10-7 at halftime.
Third Quarter: Bellville’s Offensive Surge – The third quarter saw Bellville extend their lead with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Kunkel, followed by another successful PAT by Grajales. Bellville’s defense held strong, forcing Jasper to punt and maintaining a 17-7 lead.
Fourth Quarter: Bellville Seals the Deal – The final quarter was dominated by Bellville. Zach Leuschner’s 1-yard rushing touchdown and another PAT by Grajales extended their lead to 24-7. A pivotal moment came when DD Murray intercepted a Jasper pass, leading to a spectacular 70-yard rushing touchdown by Murray himself. Grajales’ PAT brought the score to 31-7.
In the closing minutes, Bellville’s defense remained impenetrable, with Cory Richardson sacking Jasper’s quarterback and Hunter Kunkel intercepting another pass. The game concluded with Bellville triumphantly leading 31-7.
Bellville’s Game Statistics
- First Downs: Bellville achieved a total of 18 first downs in the game.
- Penalties: The team faced 8 penalties, costing them 45 yards.
- Rushing Yards Per Game: Bellville’s average rushing yards per game for the season was an impressive 399.2.
- Passing Yards Per Game: They averaged 24.9 passing yards per game.
- Total Yards Per Game: Bellville’s total yards per game averaged at 424.1.
- Tackles Per Game: The team averaged 50.6 tackles per game.
- Sacks Per Game: They averaged 2.0 sacks per game.
- Points Per Game: Bellville scored an average of 53.6 points per game.
With this victory, Bellville advances confidently in the tournament, carrying forward their undefeated streak. Their performance in this quarterfinals game sends a strong message to their upcoming opponents in the state championships.
Jasper, while bowing out of the tournament, can hold their heads high for a season well-played, marked by moments of brilliance and a fighting spirit that took them to the quarterfinals.