Neither Denton or Braswell were competing for a playoff spot, but both teams wanted to prove which was better. At least for now in this young rivalry, it's Braswell.
The Bengals recorded four turnovers in a 30-16 victory against Denton at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex on Friday night.
"This game was for our seniors," Braswell coach Cody Moore said. "For them to finish their senior year off like this, it's unbelievable."
"They wanted to be remembered as 'that' team. That team that was going to lay the foundation for the program, and for years to come everyone is going to look back to 'that' team. It's awesome. I love every single one of them."
As for Denton (3-7, 1-5 District 5-5A), it's a loss that they'll remember as well. New Denton coach Billy Miller wanted his players to remember the feeling of losing to reassure them they won't feel like it in the future.
"We can make excuses for anything and everything throughout the course of this year," Miller said. "The bottom line is nobody cares about what our excuses are, they care about the product we put on the field on Friday nights.
"I'm looking to establish a standard of what a Denton Bronco football player is and over the course of the season we're going to find that, and we'll be moving forward."
Denton couldn't move the ball forward for much of the first half, crossing Bengals' territory three times. By halftime, the Broncos were trailing 23-0.
Braswell (2-8, 2-4 district) struck first with 4:17 left in the opening quarter with a 2-yard plunge from Jeremiah Richardson. Running back Ki'Andre Jackson set up the score with an 82-yard run to the Denton 11. Thirteen seconds later, the Bengals were on the scoreboard again when quarterback Greyson Thompson found Christian Battle wide open for a 28-yard touchdown.
That score was set up when Denton players collided to catch a sky kick from Braswell kicker Arturo Ramirez. The ball bounced off the shoulder pads of two Broncos and a Bengal fell on it.
Denton couldn't catch a break on its next drive. Facing a 3rd-and-19 on their own 11, Broncos kicker Eddie Signal bobbled the snap and Braswell defenders tackled him in the end zone for a safety.
Braswell's last score before halftime was a 68-yard touchdown catch from Thompson to Jaeden Johnson, who caught a short pass in the flat and used his second gear to outrace the trailing Bronco defenders.
Thompson completed 50 percent of his passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson led the Bengals on the ground with 101 yards, while Richardson added 28 yards and two scores. Johnson led the receiving corps with two catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
Denton scored to open the second half with a 31-yard touchdown connection between quarterback Brooks Bedinger and Anthony Tony-Itoyah.
Bedinger completed 16 of his 31 attempts for 279 yards and two touchdowns. Cortez Cardenas led the receivers with 10 catches for 175 yards and a score. Corbin Shelley led the rushing attack with 72 yards.
Braswell responded with a 5-yard run from Richardson. A Bronco turnover on downs and a Braswell punt led to the end of the third quarter, and Denton scored its last touchdown of the contest with 7:16 remaining in the fourth to make it 30-16.
A few turnovers from both teams led to a fourth down with the chance of a comeback on the line for the Broncos. Bedinger dropped back and was sacked for the sixth time. The Bengals ran out the remaining time to secure the victory.
"For a lot of us, we started over there [at Denton], and to get two wins this season and to have Denton be one of them — it feels great," Johnson said.
"This win will set the standard for next year."
JIMMY ISBELL can be reached at 817-781-0379 and via Twitter at @Jimmy_Isbell12.
Braswell 30, Denton 16
DB -- Jeremiah Richardson 2 run (Arturo Ramirez kick)
DB -- Christian Battle 29 pass from Greyson Thompson (Arturo Ramirez kick)
DB -- -11 safety, ball carrier tackled in endzone
DB -- Jaeden Johnson 68 pass from Greyson Thompson (Arturo Ramirez kick)
DN -- Anthony Tony-Itoyah 31 pass from Brooks Bedinger (Corbin Shelley run)
DB -- Jeremiah Richardson 5 run (Arturo Ramirez kick)
DN -- Cortez Cardenas 25 pass from Brooks Bedinger (Corbin Shelley run)
Rushing -- DB: Ki'Andre Jackson 15-101, Jeremiah Richardson 8-28, Jhari Grose 2-7, Greyson Thompson 2-2, Jaeden Johnson 1-1, Christian Battle 1-0, Team Stat 1--3, DN: Corbin Shelley 18-72, Xylohn Posey 7-22, Ja'Mal McCoy-Maxwell 1--1, Brooks Bedinger 12--29.
Passing -- DB: Greyson Thompson 8-16-1-160, DN: Brooks Bedinger 16-31-2-279.
Receiving -- DB: Jaeden Johnson 2-85, Christian Battle 3-58, Jeremiah Richardson 1-14, Sully Martinez 2-3, DN: Cortez Cardenas 10-175, Anthony Tony-Itoyah 2-54, Corbin Shelley 2-23, Trayvon Brockington 1-17, Christian Herry 1-10.