Playoff football is underway, and the Fightin' Bucks took on the Sonora Broncos on Nov. 12 in the Bi-District Championship. The game took place at Badger Stadium in McCamey, and Alpine fans traveled well. Because of a COVID-19 quarantine, neither the band nor the cheerleaders were there to support the team, so the crowd took over and played an interactive role.
For the Bucks the first quarter opened with a physical early run from Allen Vargas, setting the tone when he ran over a Bronco for a 16-yard run. The offense settled for a field goal after narrowly missing the touchdown on their opening drive.
The Broncos countered quickly with a 60-yard touchdown on their opening play.
After the gut punch to the defense, the Bucks didn't flinch. Allen Vargas began with a nice 35-yard kickoff return, and Isaiah Nunez caught a 40-yard touchdown from Jeremy Dominguez, putting the Bucks up 9-8.
Closing out the first quarter, the Buck defense set the tone with great tackling by Mason Cavness and others, and an interception by Shaun Foster.
Beginning the second quarter, the Broncos offense again took the lead, with several long runs outside the hashes, resulting in a rushing touchdown.
When the Buck offense stepped back on the field, Tray Ervin’s time came, and he made his presence known with an impressive long and physical touchdown run. The Bucks were back on top, 16-14.
Following that touchdown, the Buck defense began to dominate, with great play from James Morris and others. They stuffed the middle of the field, resulting in a turnover on downs in the red zone.
The offense played off that energy as Ervin completed a 90-yard pass to Isaiah Nunez for another Buck touchdown, giving them a 23-14 lead going into the half.
The Broncos offense scored to start the third quarter, but not without going for it on fourth down.
But the Broncos didn’t score again. The Bucks led by just one point at this stage in the game, 23-22.
Late in the third quarter, a punt to the three-yard line set up the defense for more success. The visible effort the defense gave on the field was impressive, as the players flocked to the ball again and again. There were too many good defensive plays to mention in this game.
Vargas continued with strong physical runs, and the offense looked to put this one away early in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos fought hard. The Bucks turned the ball over on downs with about six minutes left in the game.
The Broncos offense came out with everything, and they nearly scored, but the Buck defense came up big time and again. Vargas came up with a third and goal stop, setting up a fourth down attempt. With just two minutes left in the game, Cavness and Dominique Fierro forced a fumble on the Broncos fourth and goal, and Foster recovered.
The Buck offense took over on downs, and Vargas and the offense did the rest, scoring a rushing touchdown with just seconds left on the clock. The final score was 30-22, Bucks.
The Fightin’ Bucks will play the Idalou Wildcats on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Mustang Bowl in Andrews in the UIL Area playoffs. Alpine will be the home team.