For the first time since 2007 the Pleasanton Eagles will play in the third round of the playoffs. The Eagles punched their ticket to the third round— the regional semifinals— by holding on for a 21-20 win over the Beeville Jones Trojans at Eagle Stadium last Thursday night.
The reward for beating Beeville Jones is a contest with the Fredericksburg Battlin Billies on Friday night at Dub Farris Stadium in San Antonio. Fredericksburg claimed their spot in the game by beating Calallen 14-10 last Friday night in Jourdanton.
“I’m happy for these kids,” Pleasanton Head Coach Stephen Liska said. “Our kids fight and battle. That was a tough one there.”
The win over Beeville Jones was the second straight week in the playoffs that Pleasanton won a game by one point.
“It feels amazing,” Pleasanton Running Back Joel Arevalo said when asked about advancing to the third round. “It’s unbelievable.”
Pleasanton led early in the area round game with a 6-yard run by Arevalo with 6:24 left in the first quarter.
Beeville Jones tied the score at 7-7 with 6:40 left in the second quarter. Pleasanton retook the lead with six seconds remaining in the second quarter when Sean Ramos threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Palacios.
Pleasanton carried the 14-7 lead into the third quarter. On the Eagles’ first play of the third quarter Ramos took the snap and appeared to be sacked in the backfield. Somehow Ramos broke free of the Trojans and ran 61 yards for a touchdown that put Pleasanton up 21-7 with 11:32 left in the third quarter.
“The only thing I was thinking is keep driving my feet,” Ramos said of his long touchdown run. “Once I broke the tackle I just followed whoever was blocking.”
The Eagles had a chance to increase their lead on their next drive, but fumbled and Jones recovered. The Trojans turned that fumble into a touchdown to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 11:19 left in the fourth quarter.
After Pleasanton fumbled on its next drive the Trojans cut the deficit to one with a touchdown at the 6:23 mark of the fourth quarter. The Trojans missed the extra point and the score sat at 21-20.
Pleasanton went threeand out on the next drive. The Trojans took over with 4:33 left in the game and took 4:02 off the clock before attempting a 33- yard field goal on fourth down with 31 seconds left to play. The Eagles were able to get a hand on the ball and blocked the field goal attempt. The Eagles kneeled the ball to run off the final 31 seconds and move on to the third round.
When the Eagles take the field at Farris Stadium on Friday night they will join the 2006 and 2007 teams as the only Pleasanton teams to play in the third round.
“We’re making history right now by making it to the third round,” Juan Lopez said. “The last time we made it to the third round or even beyond that was in 2007.”
In 2006 and 2007 the playoffs were set up differently. Back then only three teams made the playoffs out of each district. The team with the largest enrollment of the three playoff teams was placed in the Division I bracket. That meant only 32 teams competed in the Division I playoffs. In both of their previous trips to the third round the Eagles were actually playing in the regional finals, not the regional semifinals like they are playing in this weekend.
The winner of Pleasanton v. Fredericksburg will move on to face the winner of Austin LBJ vs. Boerne in the Class 4A Division I Region IV Championship game next weekend.
Cade Andrews and Jemareon Moore also contributed to this story