WALLIS — The Anderson-Shiro Fighting Owls suffered a loss to the Brazos Cougars, 45-26, on Friday.
Brazos was able to grab an early 16-point lead in the first quarter, and Anderson reassigned major players to different positions after running back Daylan Williams was injured in the second quarter.
Anderson-Shiro head coach Dwayne Ross said the Owls attempted to recover from the 16-point gap throughout the night, but were unsuccessful in closing it completely.
“Our guys were chasing those 16 points all night, but we were able to make some big plays,” said Ross.
During the first quarter, the Cougars scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, along with a 2-point conversion run, making the score 8-0.
The Cougars scored their second touchdown after they blocked a punt by the Owls and recovered in the end zone, followed by a successful 2-point conversion to take a 16-0 lead.
Williams, the freshman running back sensation who had over 200 yards and six touchdowns the previous week, incurred several hits from the Cougars all night and left the game with an injury in the second quarter. The Owls then shuffled the deck, moving freshman Dylan Bohnert from quarterback to receiver, and Derrick Sicola moved to quarterback.
In the second quarter, the Cougars completed a 1-yard touchdown run and another 2-point play to take a 24-0 lead.
The Owls clawed back as Sicola made a 69-yard touchdown run, and then tossed a 41-yard pass to Jamal Brooks, closing the gap to 24-12, where the score stood at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Cougars raised the stakes as they completed a 41-yard touchdown run, along with a 2-point run, giving them a 32-12 lead.
Anderson senior running back Jamal Brooks brought in a 16-yard touchdown run, improving the Owl score to 18 against the Cougars’ 32.
During the fourth quarter, the Cougars continued to elude the Owl defensive line with a 19-yard touchdown run and extra point kick, making it 39-18.
A holding penalty against the Owls pushed them back further from the end zone with 5:04 minutes remaining on the clock. However, Brooks fought back with a 22-yard touchdown run, and Sicola completed a pass to Dakota Yargo for a successful 2-point conversion, closing the gap to 39-26.
The Cougars answered with another 2-yard touchdown run, winning the game, 45-26.
Ross named Brooks Most Valuable Player, with a 41-yard pass reception score, and scoring runs of 16 and 22 yards. Altogether, Sicola, who was named Offensive Player of the Game, had 13 carries for 115 yards and one rushing touchdown that covered 69 yards. He also had 57 yards passing and the touchdown pass.
Defensive player of the game — Kevin Woods — made18 tackles from his linebacker position, Ross said.
Nick Borski had nine tackles and a fumble recovery, Bohnert had seven tackles, Jordan Brooks had five tackles and an interception, and freshman Payton Igo, who is moving up to first string as the Owls face the Iola Bulldogs this Friday night, made an interception.
Ross said he expects Williams, who put his pads back on during Friday night’s game — despite his injury — will be returning to the field this Friday night against Iola.
The game at Bulldog Stadium begins at 7:30 p.m.