Vandals survive scare from Brownsboro, 49-35

At times, it appeared that Friday the 13th was casting a spell over the Van Vandals that they were finding difficult to overcome but in the end, the Vandals found a way to keep their season and district record spotless as they escaped Brownsboro Friday night with an important 49-35 win over the pesky Brownsboro Bears.

Coach Jared Moffatt’s Vandals, now 7-0 overall and 3-0 in District 8-4A, Division I, will return to Van’s Memorial Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday against the Mabank Panthers (1-5, 0-2). Mabank enjoyed an open date last Friday night. Brownsboro is now 4-2 overall and 1-1 in district play.

The Vandals are now tied with the Kaufman Lions for the top spot in the district standings at 3-0 as the two teams will meet each other Nov. 3 in Kaufman.

Against Brownsboro, the Vandals had another huge effort offensively as they executed 44 offensive plays for 465 total yards including 329 rushing and 136 passing while the Bears registered 457 total offensive yards (288 rushing and 169 passing).

Quarterback Garrett Moseley led the Vandal offense with 201 yards rushing on 14 carries and four touchdowns in addition to completing 10 out of 16 passes for 136 yards and one TD.

Elijah Rankine contributed 97 yards rushing on 12 carries and one TD and also caught two passes for 34 yards.

Brownsboro was led offensively by Kenneth Woods as he had 80 yards rushing on 12 carries and two TD’s and caught two passes for 47 yards.

The Vandals received the opening kickoff and wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard first as they moved 65 yards in six plays (five passing).

The opening scoring drive ended with a 7-yard TD pass play from Moseley to receiver Gus Brewer. Calen McKinney added the extra point to give the Vandals a 7-0 lead with 9:54 to play in the first quarter.

Key plays in the first scoring drive for the Vandals included pass completions from Moseley covering 13 yards to receiver Bray Doring, and 12 and 22 yards to Rankine.

Following a short Brownsboro punt, the Vandals extended their advantage by moving 45 yards in five plays.

Van running back Davonta Johnson ended the march with a 26-yard TD run. McKinney added the extra point to give the Vandals a 14-0 advantage with 5:40 remaining in the first quarter.

A 15-yard pass completion from Moseley to Doring helped set up the second TD march for the Vandals.

Brownsboro moved as deep as its own 44 when they lined up to punt on fourth down and seven before  the Vandals were penalized five yards for running into the kicker.

After the penalty yardage was marked off, the Bears decided to go for the first down on fourth down and two at the Brownsboro 46. Bear RB Saul Williams then ran 20 yards for a first down to keep the Brownsboro drive alive.

Seven plays later, including a 15-yard run by Williams and an 18-yard pass completion from QB Jonathan Surlet to tight end Isik Boykin, the Bears faced another fourth down situation needing 19 yards for a first down at the Vandal 23 but an incomplete pass from Surlet to wide receiver Kenneth Woods was incomplete giving the ball back to Van.

After three straight incomplete passes, the Vandals lined up in punt formation when Ridge Preston’s punt was blocked by the Bears and recovered by Woods in the end zone for a Brownsboro TD. Luis Suarez added the extra point cutting Van’s lead to 14-7 with 8:12 remaining in the second quarter.

The Bears further stunned the Vandals on the ensuing kickoff as Brownsboro recovered an onside kick giving Brownsboro a first down at the Van 39.

Eight running plays later, Woods plunged into the end zone on a 1-yard TD run cutting Van’s advantage to one point, 14-13, with 4:34 remaining before halftime. A bad snap on the extra point attempt resulted in a desperation two-point conversion pass from Surlet to Kevon Thompson which was incomplete.

Van responded by advancing 72 yards on four straight running plays to extend its lead as Moseley finished the drive with an 18-yard TD run. McKinney added the extra point giving the Vandals a 21-13 advantage with 3:21 to play before intermission. A 25-yard run by Rankine opened the scoring march for the Vandals.

Brownsboro came right back with a four-play drive of its own covering 75 yards. Surlet connected with Thompson on a 19-yard TD pass play and Surlet then completed a pass to WR Chris Simons for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 21-21 with 1:20 still to play in the second quarter. A 55-yard run by Williams was a key play in the scoring drive for the Bears.

Van broke the deadlock before halftime as they advanced 63 yards in five plays. Moseley ended the tie-breaking scoring drive with a 15-yard TD run. McKinney added the extra point to give the Vandals the lead again at 28-21 with 22 seconds to play before halftime. A 32-yard pass completion from Moseley to Doring set up the go-ahead TD run by Moseley.

The Bears received the second half kickoff and moved from their own 30 to the Vandal 10 in seven plays including a 28-yard pass completion from Surlet to WR Ashton Williams and a personal foul penalty against Van.

On fourth down and three, the scoring threat for the Bears ended when Thompson was stopped for no gain giving Van possession at its own 10.

The Vandals then put together one of their most impressive offensive drives of the game as they advanced 90 yards in 10 plays to extend their lead.

Rankine ended the time-consuming march with a 4-yard TD run. McKinney added the extra point to extend the Vandal lead to 35-21 with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter.

Running gains of 20 and 19 yards by Moseley and 24 yards by Rankine set up the TD run for the Vandals.

Brownsboro’s next offensive possession resulted in a turnover as Surlet’s pass down the sideline on third down and 14 at the Bear 25 was intercepted by Vandal defensive back Marcus Orozco at the Bear 43.

Four running plays later, including a 12-yard gain by Moseley, the Vandals appeared to be on their way to possibly putting the game out of reach for the Bears.

The scoring threat ended on third down and four at the Brownsboro 25 when Moseley fumbled the ball after a 20-yard run.

The ball hit the pylon in the front corner of the end zone resulting in a touchback giving the Bears possession at their own 20.

Brownsboro took full advantage of the turnover as they moved 80 yards in seven plays to draw closer on the scoreboard.

Saul Williams (20 carries, 165 yards) ended the drive with a 13-yard TD run to cut the Vandal advantage to 35-27 with 8:33 remaining in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion run by Woods fell just inches short of the goal line.

Key plays in the Brownsboro scoring drive included a 55-yard pass completion from Surlet to Boykin and a 19-yard run by Saul Williams.

After an unsuccessful onside kick attempt by the Bears, Van took over possession at its own 47 but two plays later, the Vandals were on the scoreboard again.

Moseley outraced the Brownsboro defense 48 yards for a TD to end the two-play scoring drive. McKinney added the extra point giving the Vandals a little more breathing room at 42-27 with 7:35 remaining in the game.

Brownsboro again drew closer to the Vandals on the next offensive series for the Bears as Woods ran 62 yards for a Bear TD ending a 75-yard scoring march in three plays. Saul Williams ran in the two-point conversion cutting Van’s lead to 42-35 with 6:16 still to play in the contest.

Another unsuccessful onside kick attempt by the Bears was recovered by the Vandals at midfield setting up the final TD drive of the game.

Moseley again closed out the scoring with a 17-yard TD run. McKinney added the extra point giving the Vandals a 49-35 lead with 4:30 to play. The Vandal senior QB opened the march with an 18-yard run.

Brownsboro had one final scoring threat as they moved from its own 33 to the Vandal 9-yard line in 11 plays including pass completions from Surlet covering 25 and 22 yards to Woods.

Facing fourth down and goal, the pass from Surlet to Woods in the end zone was incomplete allowing the Vandals to run out the clock.