FREEPORT — Brazosport went into its final district game in control of its own destiny.
Control it they did with a 42-13 rout of visiting Fulshear at Hopper Field to secure a third consecutive trip to the playoffs for the first time in school history.
“We started off kind of sluggish. Offensively we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times, but we heated up in the second half,” first-year Brazosport head football coach Mark Kanipes said. “Hats off to Fulshear, and it’s a new season now, anything can happen.”
The Exporters (3-3, 6-4) enter the postseason as the fourth seed in District 13-4A.
Safety Kevin Davis played a vital role on both sides of the ball for Brazosport, sapping the energy out of the Chargers with a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:51 left in the third quarter. The pick six broke open what had been a tight game, giving the Ships a 28-13 advantage and leaving the Chargers lifeless on offense afterward — Fulsher finished the game with three consecutive three-and-outs.
The Ships held a 7-6 lead at the half after a 3-yard rushing touchdown by CJ Calhoun less than a minute into the second quarter. Calhoun was filling in for leading rusher Daraell Preston, who went to the sideline with an ankle injury in the first half and did not return.
Fulsher had a pair of scoring opportunities in the first half but had to settle for Cole Burke field goals of 30 and 42 yards.
The Exporters then exploded on offense in the second half to take control of the contest, totaling 242 yards after intermission. Davis started the surge with a 49-yard touchdown to start the second half.
The Chargers answered with a seven-play, 68-yard drive that ended in a 4-yard touchdown by quarterback Jackson Edge to pull within 14-13 with 9:02 left in the third.
A 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Villarreal to wide receiver Ray Bell rebuilt the lead to eight points, 21-13, with 2:11 left in the third before Davis’ big defensive play effectively decided things.
Davis found the end zone again, this time on offense with a 5-yard touchdown with 8:44 left, and Calhoun iced things with a 4-yard touchdown burst with 3:21 left.
Brazosport totaled 339 yards of offense, including 291 rushing. Its defense stood strong, giving up 197 total yards and forcing a fumble and two interceptions.
“This means a lot. Our kids have worked hard for this and they set a goal to make the playoffs and we made that goal,” Kanipes said. “Now we have to keep things going. We’re going to work our butt off next week, and we’re going to show up and play some ball. We want to make this an experience for our guys; they deserve it.”