Bears drop pivotal game against Bobcats, playoffs hazy

By A.C. Hall

The atmosphere was electric Friday night at BHS stadium as everyone knew that the game between the Bears and the Bobcats would in many ways define this season.  All likely scenarios pointed towards the winner of this game going on to claim the final spot in the postseason.  

With a bitter cold wind sweeping across the field, Brewer found themselves unable to get much going on either side of the ball.  In fact, the only Brewer scoring drive came on their first drive of the game.  A key completion to C.J. Washington carried the team down the field to an eventual 7 – 0 lead.

From there it was all Byron Nelson, as the Bobcats seized control of the game slowly but surely.  The Bobcats field position gradually improved over the first half, and as their drives started closer and closer to the endzone their lead started to swell.

Meanwhile, the Brewer offense struggled to get anything going.  A plague of dropped passes swept across the team, prematurely ending a few drives that showed promise.  When it came to the rushing game, neither Washington nor quarterback Skyler Howard could get much going.

At halftime the Bears were down 21 – 7, and if they were going to get back into the game it needed to happen early in the third quarter.  That didn’t happen, as their first three drives of the third quarter all ended in three and outs.  

During this time, Washington was on the sideline with what appeared to be an injury.  Later in the night he retook the field, but upon doing so was escorted back off by a referee.  It was unclear if the ref saw something that the Brewer coaches and trainers did not or if Washington himself said something to the ref about being injured, but after that Washington did not return to the field.

The second half for Byron Nelson continued on pace with the first, and they continued to put together quality drives that ended in touchdowns.  With temperatures plummeting, Brewer fans could do nothing but watch as the clock ticked down to a 40 – 7 loss that signals a likely end to the playoff hopes for the season.

Here’s the last remaining scenario that exists for the Brewer Bears to make the postseason.  At 2 wins, 3 losses in district, they are now one game behind both Azle and Byron Nelson, who hold the 3 and 4 spots in the standings currently.

Both Azle and Byron Nelson have beaten Brewer, meaning the Bears will have to finish ahead of one of those teams, not tied with them, in order to claim one of the final post season spots.  To surpass the 3 wins, 2 losses district record of Azle and Byron Nelson, Brewer has to win both of their remaining games, which would put the Bears at 4 wins, 3 losses.  Also, they’d need either Azle or Byron Nelson to lose both of their final games.

The big problem with this scenario lies with Denton Guyer, the district powerhouse that the Bears will meet in the final game of the season.  Guyer has left a trail of destruction behind them as they stomped through district play, dispatching all who have come up against them for a perfect 5 and 0 district record.

One advantage Brewer may have is that Guyer will already have their top seed in the playoffs locked up by the final game of the season.  This could mean they’ll rest some of their essential personnel, giving the Bears an advantage that no other district team has had against Guyer.  No team is unbeatable, and one thing that’s known about the Brewer Bears is that they’ll show up ready to play and won’t stop until the final second ticks off the clock.  But the excitement everyone felt riding high on a four game winning streak to start the season has faded, and once again the goal of reaching the playoffs has become a hazy, distant dream.  Not an unattainable one, but one that will require a perfect effort and a lot of outside help from other teams.

The first step happens this Friday night, as Brewer has to win in Lake Dallas.  If this final playoff scenario is to stay alive for one more week, the Bears must come away from this game with a victory.