MABANK — After Bremond’s 42-30 loss to Tenaha in the Class 2A Division II area round, Bremond head coach Jeff Kasowski apologized for the tears that filled his eyes.
While Tiger players and coaches sauntered back towards the locker room Friday night, Kasowski embraced his son, senior quarterback Seth Kasowski, both sharing a tearful moment surrounded by family.
“It’s been awesome,” Seth Kasowski said. “I can remember the excitement the first day of coming out there and him coaching me. To this day, I wouldn’t want any other coach in the world. Just having him out there has made it a lot more special.”
The quarterback was a key cog in a Bremond offense that went toe-to-toe with Tenaha (9-2) in what became a ground-game shootout. Kasowski rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while completing 3 of 6 passes for 40 yards and another touchdown. Running Bremond’s read option-based offense, he skillfully offered up the ball to running back Jaray Bledsoe, who led the Tigers (8-4) in rushing with 90 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
But in a matchup of two teams that almost exclusively run the ball, tackling marked the difference between the squads.
“They gave us some problems with their offense,” Jeff Kasowski said. “[Jeremy Patton] is a heck of an athlete, and he made plays when he needed to make plays.”
Patton, Tenaha’s do-everything back, took pitch after pitch in the Tiger backfield and continued to move the chains with most of his 159 yards coming after first contact. Bremond recorded just two tackles for loss, which accounted for 9 lost yards as Tenaha racked up 365.
Patton scored three touchdowns, including a game-breaker on a 28-yard scamper with less than three minutes to play.
Trailing by five, Bremond burned both of its remaining timeouts on a Tenaha drive that faced a fourth-and-4 on the Bremond 28-yard line. As he had so many times before, Patton took a pitch to the left and weaved his way through the Bremond defense to the end zone, pushing Tenaha to the regional round.
“We figured they were going to run a sweep again, and they did,” Jeff Kasowski said. “They blocked us there on the edge, and [Patton] hit the edge and he’s pretty fast, so we couldn’t catch him.”
Junior running back Markee Rasberry provided a change of pace for Tenaha, rushing for 90 yards and three touchdowns on six carries.
Bremond scored late on Seth Kasowski’s 24-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14 at halftime. But it couldn’t capitalize on its first possession of the second half and turned the ball over on downs.
Tenaha took control by rattling off three consecutive touchdowns, including two Patton TD runs, while Bremond scored on just one of its first three drives after halftime.
Bremond also failed to fall on three Tenaha fumbles, which could have changed the tide.
“Just couldn’t grab it,” Jeff Kasowski said. “If we would have just gotten one of those. There were about three of those where the ball was down and we had it and then we didn’t. That’s how the ball bounces, and it wasn’t our way tonight.”
Seth Kasowski brought the Tigers back to within 35-30 when he capped a 12-play, 77-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to TJ Grimes. The senior receiver reached behind him to tip the pass forward and complete the circus catch for the score. Two of Kasowski’s three completions came on the drive, including a 21-yard catch and scamper by Grimes prior to the score.
“You know, they’ve got to grow up sometime, so I’m proud of him and the man that he has become,” Jeff Kasowski said of his son. “He led this team well.”
A year after running through four rounds of the playoffs, exiting in the area round fell short of Bremond’s expectations. But in a season that held week-to-week uncertainty due to the spread of COVID-19, Jeff Kasowski said he was happy his seniors got to experience a full season.
“I’m just glad we got to play, especially having a senior out there, and all these seniors,” he said. “It’s a special year since it was, of course, my son’s senior year and all those boys around him. They’ve grown up together and I’m glad with COVID that we got to play every game. We didn’t miss a game, and we had a heck of a season. You never like losing the last one, but we had a really good year.”
Seth Kasowski said he plans to attend Blinn and transfer to Texas A&M and that there’s no doubt in his mind that he will eventually follow in his father’s footsteps.
“Give me four years and I’ll be somewhere coaching,” he said, allowing a small smile to crack. “Maybe one day back here.”
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