McKINNEY — Fresh off an impressive, gutsy win over Northwest Eaton last Friday, Braswell faced its biggest challenge of the season yet. Under the lights of McKinney ISD Stadium, the Bengals fell 42-12 to McKinney Boyd in their first district game in Class 6A.

“They played a really good game,” Braswell coach Cody Moore said after the game. “I think it was a combination of things for us. You name it, they were better than we were. That’s really the bottom line.”

The Bengals (3-2, 0-1 District 5-6A) saw their troubles starting early on, going three-and-out on the first drive to open the door for a 77-yard drive that put Boyd (2-3) up early. Senior quarterback Tristan McClary led the Bengal offense all the way down to the Bronco 1-yard line. However, Jamerion Sanford was unable to break into the end zone on fourth and goal, giving the ball back to Boyd. On the very next play, the Bengal defense brought a heavy blitz that left a streaking Bronco receiver wide open. The pass was easily completed and taken 99 yards for the touchdown, putting the Bengals behind 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

It appeared things were looking up for Braswell in the second quarter. After stopping the Broncos on fourth down, McClary led the offense back down the field highlighted by a 23-yard screen pass to Cam Smith. Four plays later, McClary finished what he had started by calling his own number and taking it in for the touchdown. Boyd responded with a 60-yard drive resulting in another Bronco touchdown with 24 seconds remaining in the half. Braswell trailed 21-6 at the half.

Braswell’s woes continued in the second half. Boyd went on a long drive starting from its own 1-yard line. It appeared the Bengals had forced the Broncos to give them the ball. However, a muffed punt set the Broncos back up at the Braswell 14-yard line. Three plays later, the Broncos scored again. Braswell had a chance to score late in the third quarter, but failing to convert on a fourth down from the Boyd 10-yard line left them short yet again. Boyd ran out the clock in the third quarter, leaving the score at 28-6.

Boyd was already on a drive to start the fourth quarter, and it didn’t take long to get into the end zone again on a 10-yard shovel pass. The Bengals were not going to go down without a fight, though. A long pass from McClary to Deuce Bailey put the Braswell offense inside the 5-yard line. JK Carter finished off the drive with a two-yard run, beating the Bronco defense to the pylon. It only took Boyd a few minutes to drive back down the field and score to make the score 42-12. The Broncos were able to recover a Bengal fumble on the ensuing kickoff, allowing them to run the clock out and hand the Bengals just their second loss of the season.

“There’s just a lot of things we have to do better,” Moore said of his preparation for the rest of the season. “It was one game we didn’t play very well. We’ll learn from it and try to get better next week.”

The Bengals will host Little Elm next Friday, Oct. 30.

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