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PROSPER — After a tough loss last week to McKinney, it would have been easy to write off the rest of Braswell’s season with games against ranked teams Prosper and Allen.

A task Braswell (5-4, 2-3 in District 5-6A) had failed twice already this season, but as coach Cody Moore said earlier this week, the Bengals “don’t let one game define how they are as a team.”

Braswell (5-4, 2-3 in District 5-6A) certainly seemed to play like a team with nothing to lose as it upset No. 16-ranked Prosper (4-2, 2-2) on the road 41-24 to keep its playoff hopes alive.

It was the complete game Braswell needed to showcase against tougher competition, and it delivered on that challenge.

Quarterback Tristan McClary tallied four total touchdowns — two through the air and two on the ground — leading the game off with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Hernandez for first quarter’s only score. On the flip side of the ball, Braswell’s defense kept a talented rushing attack in check on the way to a 20-7 lead early into the second quarter.

Prosper then began to find its rhythm offensively and scored twice to close out the second quarter leading 21-20.

Moore has always preached balance in what the game dictates for his team, and in the second half, that balance switched to a more run-oriented offense.

Braswell forced Prosper into a three-and-out to open the third quarter and its offense marched down the field, using nothing but runs, to retake a lead it would not give back on a 3-yard dive by running back Jamerion Sanford.

Prosper responded with a field on its ensuing drive, but Braswell stuck with the run game and scored twice more in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Braswell needs some help to get into the playoffs, but the opportunity is there as it sits in fifth place, a half-game behind both Prosper and Boyd in the district standings.

With its proverbial back against the wall and a third crack at a ranked opponent this year, Braswell came through. It has the Thanksgiving week off before its regular season finale against Allen.

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