It's time to tip off the 2020 boys' basketball playoffs.
Here are VYPE's fearless predictions for some of the first-round games.
Klein Forest reached the state finals a year ago, while North Shore reached the state semis out of Region III.
Yates reached the State Semis in Class 4A a year ago.
The Beaumont West Brook Bruins beat the Strake Jesuit Fighting Crusaders 63-21 last time they played in September. This time around, the Crusaders mustered 63 points of their own while keeping West Brook to 35 points. The revenge game serves as a massive upset in the UIL 6A Division II playoff bracket and a milestone victory for second year head coach, Klay Kubiak.
For the first time since Pearland, Strake Jesuit faced a team with a potent passing attack. West Brook's big duo of WR Thaddeus Johnson and QB Troy Yowman ripped through Jesuit's secondary for a touchdown in the first two minutes of the game. Visibly, West Brook had bigger and stronger players in the trenches.
West Brook had momentum with their offensive touchdown and now what seemed like an early stop on defense. Strake Jesuit punted the ball all the way to West Brook's 14 yard line, only for the returner to muff the kick. The first of many costly turnovers gave the Crusaders their first offensive jolt. Dylan Campbell would score his first touchdown of the night on a 2 yard toss play to the pylon.
The Bruins quickly responded with another two-minute score. Before the close of the first quarter, Jesuit had an opportunity to score. Their main wide receiver, Robert Smith, drew a pass interference and set the team at midfield. However, the quarterback, William Dickason, was called for intentional grounding and the drive stalled.
West Brook also killed their next drive with by taking a bad sack. The twenty yard loss would force a routine punt—and bam! The punter fumbled the snap and took a sack—setting the Crusaders up on the 14 yard line once again. Dylan Campbell scored again on a toss play to the pylon and the game was tied at 14.
The next drives were a fitting conclusion to the hectic half. Ja'Kobi Holland, West Brook's senior running back, was supposedly tackled around midfield. The players stopped as if the play were dead, and Holland even extended the ball to a nearby referee. A head's up realization caused him to make a dead sprint to the end zone. With there being no ability to review the play, Holland and the Bruins got the 50 yard touchdown.
The Crusaders would not let up. Denzel Blackwell returned the next kickoff back to midfield. Robert Smith caught two play action passes for 30 yards. The 6' 3'' sophomore, Leland Smith, also caught two consecutive catches: a beautiful back shoulder throw to the 2 yard line, and a wide open lob to the back of the end zone, 21-21.
Strake Jesuit came out swinging in the second half. Dickason had two stellar plays to will his team towards a score. On a second down play action pass, the West Brook defense knew to expect a play action bootleg. The linebacker came crashing into the backfield and nearly came down with a sack. Dickason's strong lower body allowed him to rip free from an arm tackle, survey the field, and scramble for 51 yards. Fast-forwarding two plays, Dickason escaped pressure again and scrambled for twelve yards on 3rd and 13. On 4th and 1, Campbell rushed for his third touchdown of the night.
After the Crusaders picked Yowman off on a fourth down play, Dylan Campbell erupted. Yes, he already had three rushing touchdowns. But on 2nd and 6, Dickason rolled to his right, stopped and threw the ball across the field back towards Campbell. He caught the ball with a convoy of blockers ahead of him. The running back made a man miss, cut to the middle of the field, shed an arm tackle and sprinted to the end zone for a 64 yard receiving touchdown. For the first time, Jesuit had the Bruins on their heels.
QB Bryce Anderson entered the game for West Brook. He had been playing safety on the previous drive, but came in to give his offense a spark. His athleticism was too much as he scrambled for multiple first downs and eventually a highlight reel touchdown. He juked two defenders in the backfield and bounced to the outside pylon for a diving score. The Bruin's newfound success offensive success came too late in the game though—Campbell had already called game. On the very first play of Strake Jesuit's ensuing drive, he ran another screen play for 65 yards and a score. West Brook couldn't retaliate with another drive from Bryce Anderson, seeing there was 9:19 left in the fourth quarter. They threw Yowman out there and senior linebacker Josh Cashiola, intercepted him on the first play of the drive. Two plays later, Campbell dashed past a disheartened defense for a 23 yard touchdown—his sixth of the night. The score was now 49-28 and Strake Jesuit's quick one-two punch (only taking 22 seconds off the clock) had the Bruins reeling
Things began to fall apart for West Brook as Yowman nearly threw another interception. After a few plays fell through, Johnson's emotions got the best of him as he shoved a Jesuit defender in the back. The frustration penalty sent him out of the game and gave the Crusaders decent field position. Now, Jesuit had to piece together one last drive to milk the clock. Campbell burst through a hole on a power run and smartly slid before being forced out of bounds. Dylan Campbell ran 37 yards for his seventh and final touchdown; a stellar end to one of the best offensive performances in school history. West Brooks wide receiver, Joey Pierre might have responded with a 39 yard touchdown late in the game. But sophomore sensation, Joel Crawford, gave Jesuit the final triumph with a surprise run up the gut for 59 yards and a score.
Dickason and Campbell had career performances in this elimination game. Dickason threw 11/15 for 210 and 3 touchdowns. Campbell had a monstrous 122 yards on the ground and 116 yards receiving; also, 5 rushing touchdowns and 2 receiving touchdowns. On the season, Campbell has over 1800 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. Dickason is starting to catch on fire, throwing 7 of his 12 touchdowns in the last three games of his season. Also, his completion percentage in his three game hot streak is 67%.
The Fighting Crusaders will try to ride the momentum of the game as they play Cy-Creek at 8pm this Friday at NRG Stadium.