Early ending: Life wraps up year with loss to Brownwood

Daily Light report

The Brownwood Lions will continue their season in mid-November and have two more games to challenge for a share of the district championship, while Life Waxahachie will enter the offseason and get ready for basketball.

Brownwood’s Blaize Espinosa threw for 246 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score as the visiting Lions clinched the final available playoff berth out of District 5-4A (I) with a 48-14 win over the Mustangs on Wednesday night at Mustang Stadium.

The rebuilding Mustangs, who graduated 24 lettermen off last year’s 7-4 playoff team, finished the 2020 season with a 2-7 record, 1-4 in district, the first season with Micah Stanley as head coach.

Sophomore quarterback Colby Grmela was 14-of-24 for 62 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Returning to the lineup, Jalen Mann rushed for 119 yards and caught a touchdown pass.

Brownwood originally was ordered by the 5-4A (I) district executive committee to forfeit two games against Midlothian Heritage and Waco La Vega because of a COVID-19 outbreak. But the Lions were able to gain a second hearing, and the DEC reconsidered and allowed Brownwood to make up the two games.

The Lions will play a make-up game at La Vega on Monday and at Heritage on Saturday, Nov. 7. Their game against Life was moved earlier to Wednesday night to accommodate the University Interscholastic League’s five-day rule.

Brownwood (4-4, 2-1) struck first on Espinosa’s 1-yard plunge with 7:21 remaining in the first quarter. The Lions added another score with 9:45 left in the second quarter on a 2-yard Konlyn Anderson run.

The Mustangs got on the board on Elyjah Berry’s 4-yard run midway through the quarter, but Brownwood needed just one play to answer when Espinosa hit Malachi Revada for a 38-yard TD pass to go up 20-7.

Each team added scores before the end of the half. Life’s Grmela hit Mann for an 11-yard scoring pass on a fourth-and-4 play. But once again, the Lions replied quickly when Espinosa threw for 56 yards to Jason Jackson, and Brownwood went into the locker room with a 27-14 lead.

In the second half, the Lions took control of the game. Espinosa connected again with Jackson for a 40-yard touchdown, then later found Revada for a 21-yard scoring play. After a Revada interception, Anderson ran for a 43-yard TD as the Lions took a 48-14 lead into the final 12 minutes.