Blocking Out Front

El Campo junior running back Rueben Owens II (4) looks downfield as senior Matthew Stewart (14) gets ready to throw in a block downfield Friday night at Ricebird Stadium.


The El Campo Ricebirds had a tough time slowing the Brazosport Exporters, but two late stops were all they needed to pick up the 69-47 win at Ricebird Stadium Friday night.

Both offenses’ ruled the night, going up and down the field almost at will.

El Campo (6-1, 2-0) could not get separation from Brazosport (2-4, 1-1), with each team answering each other’s touchdown, almost score for score.

“Offensively we played well and special teams we played well,” El Campo head coach Chad Worrell said. “Defensively we took a step back tonight. We were misaligned, on a few plays and more than anything we just weren’t tackling. We tried to prepare for that this week, but it’s hard to simulate a quarterback that big. We just missed tackled and overran (him).”

Brazosport junior quarterback Randon Fontenette put on a show rushing the ball for more than 200 yards and throwing for nearly 200 more.

El Campo’s offense had their own big night, scoring on all but two possessions in the game. Overall, the Ricebirds had more than 650 yards of offense.

Brazosport with some wind behind them in the second half scored first to pull with two scores, trailing El Campo 48-33.

The Exporters caught the break they needed. On the ensuing kickoff, El Campo fumbled the ball at mid-field, giving the Exporters life. The Ricebirds defense held strong forcing a four-play turnover on downs.

El Campo’s offense with the ball marched down the field and scored. Ricebird senior wide receiver DK Ward capped off the seven-play drive with a 25-yard touchdown run, his second score of the night.

Both teams traded touchdowns again and El Campo led 62-40 with seconds left to go in the third.

Brazosport needing another score to get back into the game, dinked and dunked on the Ricebirds’ defense, moving the ball into their red zone. El Campo backed up on the five-yard line caused a fumble with senior linebacker Jacob Lopez recovering the ball.

“That turnover was huge, the other big play was after we fumbled the kickoff return and got the stop,” Worrell said. “The defense came up with some key stops when they had to. But we also gave them a lot. We can’t give up that many yards and that many points.”

El Campo junior running back Rueben Owens II helped the defense breathe easy, scoring his fifth touchdown on a 90-yard run giving the Ricebirds a 69-40 lead, putting the game out of reach with nine minutes left in the game.

“That’s one of the reasons he’s one of the highest-rated running backs in the nation. He’s a special talent,” Worrell said. “If you had a great running back like he is without a (great) offensive line it wouldn’t look like that. And if you had a great offensive line with a great running back it wouldn’t look like that. He made a run tonight that was probably the best I’ve seen yet.”

Owens on the night finished with nearly 350 yards on the ground.

Seniors Kerry North, Juan Leal, Jack Dorotik and Carter Hlavinka and junior Taylor Mannrriquuez finished the night on the line. Juniors Bryce Rasmussen and Hal Erwin were injured earlier in the game but key parts of the line early. Overall the line blocked for more than 12 yards a rushing attempt.

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