WICHITA FALLS -- The Braswell Bengals apparently don't mind seeing an opponent from Wichita Falls staring back at them.
After picking up the program's first win two weeks ago against Wichita Falls, the Bengals gave Wichita Falls Rider a scare Thursday at Memorial Stadium. However, a couple of key fourth-quarter mistakes allowed Rider to escape with a 42-28 victory.
Braswell slips to 1-8 overall and 1-4 in District 5-5A, while Rider (5-4, 4-1 district) wraps up a Class 5A playoff spot. The Raiders will face Ryan on Thursday at C.H. Collins Athletic Compelx for the 5-5A title.
Braswell did what few opponents have done this season -- forcing Rider to turn the ball over. A Bengal defender popped the ball out of the grasp of Rider senior running back Brandon Bolton midway through the third quarter.
The Bengals recovered at their own 5-yard line, trailing 28-14. They embarked on a 13-play, 95-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard TD plunge by Jaeden Johnson to pull within 28-21 with 3:45 left in the third.
The Bengals forced Rider to turn the ball over on downs on the ensuing possession and took over at their own 43 to start the fourth quarter.
Braswell moved down to the Rider 34, but on third-and-12 from the 38, Rider senior cornerback Danari Curry stepped in front of a Greyson Thompson pass intended for Johnson, picking it off.
Six plays later, the Raiders went back up by two touchdowns when Bolton powered his way into the end zone on a 7-yard run with 7:41 remaining.
The Bengals were forced to punt on their next drive, and a poor 17-yard punt into the wind was scooped up by Curry and returned to the Braswell 14.
Rider senior Darien Boyd scored on a 1-yard run, putting Rider up 42-21 with 2:36 remaining.
Thompson found Christian Battle for an 8-yard TD on a fade route at the 1:20 mark, pulling the Bengals within 42-28, and C.J. Johnson recovered the ensuing onside kick at the Rider 45.
But Thompson threw his third interception of the game, this one to Rider junior linebacker Jeremiah Rodriguez, with 50 seconds left, ending any threat of a miracle comeback.
Thompson finished 22-of-35 for 222 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson caught eight passes for 93 yards, including a 31-yard TD. He also returned a kickoff 75 yards for a score to go with his 1-yard rushing TD.
Braswell wraps up the season next week against Denton and will not make the playoffs.
Wichita Falls Rider 42, Braswell 28
R - Jake Edgemon 8 pass from Jorge Vargas (Vargas run), 3:11
B - Jaeden Johnson 31 pass from Greyson Thompson (Auturo Ramirez kick), 10:48
R - Brandon Bolton 5 run (Colsen Welch kick), 8:02
R - Edgemon 33 pass from Vargas (Welch kick), 3:19
B - Johnson 75 kickoff return (Ramirez kick), 3:12
R - Edgemon 22 pass from Vargas (kick blocked), 1:10
B - Johnson 1 run (Ramirez kick), 3:45
R - Bolton 7 run (Welch kick), 7:41
R - Darien Boyd 1 run (Welch kick), 2:36
B - Christian Battle 8 pass from Thompson (Ramirez kick), 1:20
RUSHING -- (Braswell) Ki'Andre Jackson 16-78, Jeremiah Richardson 4-47, Jaeden Johnson 3-12, Christian Battle 1-(-3), Greyson Thompson 5-(-25). (Rider) Brandon Bolton 22-113, Samuel Manuel 7-68, Danari Curry 1-14, Darien Boyd 1-1, Jorge Vargas 2-(-3), Team 3-(-11).
PASSING -- (Braswell) Thompson 22-35-3--222. (Rider) Vargas 15-25-0--233.
RECEIVING -- (Braswell) Johnson 8-93, Battle 6-59, Sully Martinez 4-51, Sam Madison 1-11, Jackson 3-8. (Rider) Jake Edgemon 8-148, Curry 2-26, Bolton 1-20, Tre'Shawn Humphrey 2-16, Jarrett Hilley 1-13, Cam Myles 1-10.
RECORDS -- Braswell 1-8, 1-4; Rider 5-4, 4-1.