by A.C. Hall
For the second week in a row the Bears had a chance to win late in the game and for the second week in a row the team came up just short. This latest loss against Azle marks the fourth in a row and also mathematically elements the Bears from playoff contention.
Brewer has many rivalries but none have produced the quality of games in recent years that their rivalry with Azle has. That was evident once again on Friday night, as these teams hit each other with everything they had. Both squads had a lot on the line. For the Bears was a chance to keep their playoff hopes alive and for Azle it was a chance to remain atop the district standings and guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs.
The first half belonged to Brewer and their running back Eric Worlds. Injuries are never good in high school football, and the absence of star running back Jameson Carson who was hurt last week was certainly felt. However, injuries can give other players a chance to shine, and Worlds has most certainly done that the past two weeks.
Earlier in the season this young man was seen as a short yardage back who could batter his way through the line and pick up 2 or 3 yards. In Azle, he proved for the second week in a row that he’s much more than that. Worlds combines speed and power to pick up yardage on almost every carry. He finished the night as the game’s leading rusher with 174 yards.
Leading 17 – 6 at the half, Brewer looked completely in control of the contest. They’ve had some trouble maintaining in the second half this season, and that happened once again in Azle. Brewer gave up 20 points in the third quarter, allowing Azle to take their first lead of the night. The Bears would regain the lead for a short time but another Azle touchdown would give Azle a 26 – 25 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
An Azle field goal early in the fourth would make it 29 – 25 and meant the Bears would have to get a touchdown to retake the lead. With time getting short in the contest, Brewer found themselves facing a long fourth down situation with just a little over four minutes left. They were unable to convert on the play, turning the ball over.
Azle began driving down the field in what appeared to be their victory lap when fortune smiled on the Bears. A fumble at midfield was recovered by Brewer, and with just under three minutes left in the game they had one more chance. However, the Brewer offense couldn’t get anything going, and another failed fourth down attempt signaled the end of the game and the end of the Brewer playoff hopes.
This Brewer team showed improvements under new head coach Wade Griffin, but missing the playoffs is a feeling becoming all too familiar to the Brewer fans. It’s now been over a decade since the team last made the post season. Griffin and his staff have started some good things here and are developing some promising players, but it’ll be at least another year before the Brewer faithful get a chance to see the triumphant return of the Bears to the post season.
The season isn’t over yet, and the last game might just be what the doctor ordered. The struggling Saginaw squad will be at BHS this Friday night and with just one victory this year this is a team the Bears should beat handily. After a month of losses, this game could build back some confidence for the Bears and send them into the offseason motivated.
Kickoff is at 7:00 pm.