Brazosport opening game

Fans cheer before the Brazosport Exporters take the field Friday at Hopper Field in Freeport.

FREEPORT — Ground-and-pound was the formula Brazosport head football coach Mark Kanipes wanted to use to win football games. That’s just what the Ships did Friday night in drubbing the Hitchcock Bulldogs, 33-8, at Hopper Field.

Special teams, a stout defense and good quarterback play didn’t hurt either.

Senior running back Daraell Preston had 15 carries for 147 yards and two touchdowns to lead the team as the Ships rolled up 204 rushing yards. Preston benefited from strong play on the offensive line, which opened up holes for the run game while not allowing a sack.

“That was the plan. It actually worked out the other way because their offense was on the field longer,” Kanipes said.

Brazosport took the lead on its first possession after forcing a three-and-out from the Bulldogs. The Ships capitalized on great field position set up by punt return to inside the Hitchcock 20. Three plays later, Preston ran it into the end zone from 4 yards out for a 7-0 Brazosport advantage.

Hitchcock responded with its own scoring drive, covering 76 yards in 20 plays to take the lead on a 3-yard run by junior Kamron Winston with 11:54 remaining in the second quarter. A two-point conversion run by sophomore quarterback Christian Dorsey gave the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead.

The score required extra work on the part of the Bulldogs, who were flagged five times on the drive, including four times for false starts.

“That first quarter we probably had more snaps than we had in both scrimmages combined. They have some good skill kids and their coaches do a good job,” Kanipes said.

After a Cornell Brown interception for the Ships, Brazosport paused its ground offensive and let freshman quarterback Kariyen Goins’ put the ball in the air. He threw a 47-yard strike to senior wide receiver Ray Bell for a touchdown to take a lead the Ships wouldn’t relinquish.

Ships safety Kevin Davis helped make sure of it. With Dorsey banged up on the sideline, receiver Davin Preston moved under center. His ill-advised pass ended up in Davis’s hands, and he returned it to the Hitchcock 17.

Brazosport needed just three plays until Daraell Preston flipped into the end zone from a yard out to get the score to 20-8.

A pair of touchdowns led by senior quarterback Alex Villarreal padded the score. The first came on a 34-yard run by Villarreal in the third quarter, then a 17-yard pass from Villarreal to running back CJ Calhoun capped the scoring with 4:50 remaining in the game.

The well-rounded performance in the opener is a good first step for his team, Kanipes said.

“It’s all new. We’re getting better and I’m glad we got the work in today, Kanipes said. “A win’s a win, and there wasn’t a lack of effort and we can fix other mistakes we’ve made.”

Brazosport will face traditional rival Sweeny next Friday at Bulldog Stadium.

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