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BROWNWOOD â€” After pulling within eight points of Brownwood with 6:52 left and then forcing the Lions to start consecutive possessions from inside their 5-yard line, Sweetwater was poised to complete a rainy fourth-quarter comeback here Friday.
Clinging to a 21-13 lead, Brownwood was pinned at its 2 after a 47-yard punt by Sweetwater quarterback Kaegan Jeffrey with 4:08 to play. But the Lions went to their wildcat formation, and Eddie Duque raced 95 yards before finally being dragged down at Sweetwaterâ€™s 3.
Two plays later, Brown-woodâ€™s Braylon Johnson completed the short drive with a 2-yard run to wrap up a 28-13 win for the Lions.
While Duqueâ€™s big run was easily the longest of the night, Brownwood (2-3) did most of its damage on the ground. The hosts finished with 296 yards and had two 100-yard rushers in Duque and Braxton Kilgo.
Brownwood dominated the first half statistically as Sweetwater (2-3) was held to just 55 total yards and three first downs, but the Lions led just 6-0 â€” the only score coming on a 5-yard run by Kilgo in the second quarter.
Both teams missed field goals later in the period, with Sweetwater getting to Brownwoodâ€™s 10 on its drive following a 25-yard Jeffrey-to-Kaleb Hoover pass completion on fourth-and-9.
Brownwood missed a 39-yard field goal attempt to end the half, but was back in business to start the third quarter after returning the opening kickoff 63 yards to Sweetwaterâ€™s 22. From there, the Lions needed just five plays to score on Kilgoâ€™s 2-yard run, and a two-point run by Duque made it 14-0.
Sweetwater finally scored with a 14-play, 75-yard drive â€” 13 of them runs â€” capped by Ryan Linebaughâ€™s 2-yard touchdown with 3:13 left to pull within 14-6.
Brownwood regained a two-touchdown advantage, 21-6, on a 2-yard Johnson run with 8:45 left in the game. Sweetwater was then forced to go to its passing game, but Jeffrey responded by leading an 11-play drive â€” all of them passes â€” that covered 69 yards and cut the Lionsâ€™ margin to 21-13.
The touchdown came on a 5-yard pass to Hoover in the left corner of the end zone. But the key play that kept the chains moving was another fourth-down com-pletion to Hoover, which again covered 25 yards and gave Sweetwater first-and-goal at the 5.
That fired up the defense, which forced Brownwoodâ€™s only punt of the night. The Mustangs failed to take ad-vantage on their next pos-session, but Jeffrey nailed a 47-yard punt that put the Lions at their 2 â€” only to see Duque break loose on Brownwoodâ€™s first play from scrimmage.
Now that its three-game road trip has been completed, Sweetwater will get this weekend off before starting District 4-3A play at home against Snyder on Oct. 12, followed by another home game against Greenwood.