There was not a better way to end homecoming night than Brazosport did Friday against Needville.

A win by the Exporters, coupled with a Bay City loss to El Campo, would solidify a playoff spot for Brazosport with two games remaining, and the Exporters got the job done.

The Ships scored on their first six possessions of the game, quarterback Randon Fontenette passed for three touchdowns and running back Paul Woodard rushed for more than 200 yards en route to a 49-28 victory over the Blue Jays at Hopper Field.

It marks the fifth consecutive season Brazosport (2-1, 3-4) has made the playoffs.

El Campo remained undefeated in district play at 3-0 with its 45-12 win over Bay City. Stafford, Columbia and Brazosport were tied at 2-1 after Friday’s game, and Needville and the Blackcats were 0-3. With the Exporters owning the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Blue Jays and Blackcats, the worst the Ships could finish is fourth in the standings.

The Exporter offense picked up where it left off following their 69-47 loss to El Campo last week by keeping their foot on the gas pedal Friday night against Needville.

Brazosport’s scoring began with Fonenette finding an open Tishaun Davis, who beat his man and made the catch in the end zone to cap off the drive with a 32-yard touchdown pass.

After a Needville three-and-out, Woodard accounted for 53 of the team’s 68 yards on its next drive, culminated by a 32-yard rushing score by the senior, to jump out to a 14-0 lead with 20 seconds left in the opening quarter.

A fourth-down fumble recovered by Kaiden Shoemake gave the Ships excellent field position at Needville’s 42-yard line.

Two running plays yielded 10 yards, then Fontenette found Davis again after the wideout beat two defenders for a 32-yard touchdown pass. On that play, Fontenette had his choice of Davis or Toric Goins since Needville busted its coverage on both receivers.

On their ensuing possession, the Blue Jays got on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run by freshman back Da’Shawn Burton to cap off a 10-play drive. The score cut the Exporters’ lead to 21-7 with 6:12 left in the first half.

Brazosport responded with Woodard, who accounted for 53 of the drive’s 61 yards, including a 36-yard scamper, and finished the possession with a 12-yard scoring run.

Trailing by 21 points again, the Blue Jays pulled within two scores for a second time. A 47-yard pass from Bryce Nirider to Blake Maresh set up the Needville score.

After the pass put the Blue Jays in Exporters’ territory, Nirider and Maresh connected again for 14 yards, and Burton’s 22-yard run put Needville inside the 10. Nirider finished the drive with a 9-yard run to make it a 28-14 game with 2:47.

However, that was too much time for Brazosport, which needed five plays to get into the end zone. Fontenette found Goins on a receiver screen, and the sophomore wideout did the rest.

But Needville answered when Landen Hobbs took the ensuing kickoff about 75 yards for the score, making it a 35-21 Brazosport lead at the half.

Woodard had 160 rushing yards and two touchdowns by halftime, and Fontenette was 5-of-7 passing for 105 yards and three touchdowns.

Woodard opened the second half with his third touchdown, accounting for 30 yards on the Exporters’ opening possession and capping it with a 12-yard scoring run for their sixth straight scoring drive.

In those drives, Brazosport racked up 386 yards of offense on 41 plays and scored 42 points.

The Ships punted twice in the game — both in the second half. Needville turned the ball over on downs, and Brazosport had its first punt of the game late in the third quarter.

Needville took advantage of excellent field position at its 48-yard line after the punt and took four plays to pull the within two scores again. Nirider used play-action to suck in the defense, leaving Diego Ochoa wide open for a 37-yard touchdown with 18 seconds remaining in the quarter.

However, the Blue Jays could not stop the Exporters’ running game.

Woodard’s kickoff return put the ball at Needville’s 48, and Brazosport used a nine-play drive — all running plays — with Fontenette’s quarterback sneak from the 1-yard line pushing the lead back to 21 points, 49-28, with 7:06 remaining in the game.

Although the Exporters were not in danger of losing the lead after that, junior Christian Scharrer ended Needville’s final meaningful drive with an interception when the defensive end played zone out to the flat and picked up Nirider’s telegraphed pass in front of the Ships’ sideline.

Woodard finished the night with 235 rushing yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns, and Fontenette was 7-of-11 passing for 118 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for one.

Jake Dowling is a sports writer for The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0161.

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