Argyle Stops Pittsburg’s Dream Season + Brian Baca Keeps Going Despite Adversity
ROYSE CITY -- Pittsburg is still going to be Baca Town today despite Friday's 59-34 loss to Argyle in the Class 4A Division I area round.
Head coach Brad Baca will probably spend some time thinking about the offseason conditioning program. Defensive coordinator Eddy Baca will probably provide his input.
But it is going to feel a little empty within the Pirates' football facility following an upcoming end-of-season team meeting. Quarterback Brian Baca -- Brad Baca's little brother and Eddy Baca's younger son -- is about to head down his own path after putting up 404 total yards and four touchdowns in his final high school game.
"That guy right there is a competitor," Brad Baca said of Brian Baca. "He's a play maker. That's all you can say. I'll look back and reflect on this for the rest of my life as one of the coolest things I've ever done. I'm just so happy I got the chance to do it."
No one knew that any of this was going to happen 53 weeks ago.
The Pirates had finished a 4-7 season with a bi-district playoff loss. Former head coach Dickey Meeks retired in early December.
Brad Baca was the offensive coordinator at Chapel Hill. Eddy Baca and Brian Baca were at Cleburne High School.
Pittsburg decided to hire Brad Baca. The other Bacas came into the fold. Together, they helped guide the Pirates to a 10-2 record and an area round appearance.
They had about 5,000 fans in attendance optimistic that the Pirates could take down Argyle (11-1), which is still well on its way to a third straight state championship game appearance.
And a lot of those fans made their way down to the field after the game to offer their gratitude to players and coaches.
Brian Baca was one of the more upset players immediately following the game. He had the right to be.
He rebounded in front of dozens of people hoping to get in a word with him before heading off to the locker room and then to a bus away from his high school playing career.
"This city and these fans are the best in Texas as far as I'm concerned," Brian Baca said. "They've supported us all the way. Weather, anything like that, they were always there. I love this town. I'm so thankful for being here this fall."
Pittsburg was overmatched. Early mistakes exacerbated the problems.
Argyle deferred the opening kickoff and Brian Baca opened the game with a nine-yard pass for Deldric Shields. His second pass was mishandled by a receiver, intercepted and Argyle scored four plays later.
The Pirates fumbled away their very next snap. Argyle took a 10-0 lead.
Pittsburg went three-and-out and its punt hit the, uh, derriere of a blocker. Even though that miscue didn't result in points against, it summed up the night it would be.
Argyle owned a 24-0 lead after the first quarter and kept going.
Brian Baca finally got the team on the board with a 38-yard strike to Damien Porter for a 38-7 deficit with 59 seconds left in the half.
Pittsburg wasn't finished.
It came out in the second half and recovered its onside kick. Brian Baca led the team 29 yards of a 49-yard drive and punched it in himself to make the score an easier to swallow 38-14 following Alex Rodriguez's point after.
Argyle got the next onside kick and slowed its offense down to chew clock.
Brian Baca quietly threw for 220 passing yards and two touchdowns while running for 69 yards and a score as Argyle ran toward the finish line with a 52-28 advantage.
In what very well could have been his final drive, and still against a majority of Argyle starters, the signal caller found Porter for an 18-yard gain and then after running for 16 yards connected with Dejour Dowell for a 24-yard reception to set up three more hard runs and a 1-yard touchdown dive.
It was Brian Baca's 93rd rushing yard. For a 52-34 score with 2:14 left in the season.
However, Pittsburg's defense held Argyle to a stop and allowed Brian Baca to go for more. Unfortunately, trying to create another quick score, he threw a pick-six to Gage Campbell to get the opposition on the board a final time.
Out of that setback, Brian Baca racked up 49 more passing yards for 311 yards through the air and moved the Pirates from their own 28-yard line to the Argyle 23-yard line before time expired.
"I'm so proud of our guys for continuing to fight and to never quit," the overseeing Brad Baca said. "We put up 27 points in the second half. I just wish we could have started faster. We started slow and turned the ball over, just too many mistakes against a good team like Argyle. I'd like to see the team that beats them. Because I don't know if there is one."
While the Bacas' team sputtered early, Argyle running back Taylor Sweatt laid the framework to a 192-yard rushing night. He scored three touchdowns.
Opposing quarterback Dane Ledford was efficient, completing 11 of 17 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns to one interception.
Senior Pirates linebacker Fre'zarian Harrison caused his fourth fumble of the season during the game. That saved extra embarrassment on the botched first quarter punt.
Harrison also scored the lone touchdown that didn't involve Brian Baca with a 2-yard run. He finished his final year with six touchdowns, more than 115 tackles and more than 33 tackles for loss.
Porter, who recorded a team second-best 83 receiving yards, and defensive lineman Quinton Edney also are key seniors who wrapped up their careers. They both picked up offers from Arkansas Tech on Wednesday.
Dowell led receivers with 121 yards. He'll be back next season.
Brian Baca's end game is to become another coach in the family.
"That would be awesome if we ended up with each other again," he said. "I want to be a college coach and stuff like that. I plan on attending college and playing football. I haven't decided where. I'll look into it more in-depth with the season over now and figuring out what school best fits me, where I can help and where I can make an impact.
"It's early right now for me, but I've heard from ETBU and Olivet Nazarene has offered me. Hendrix College in Arkansas. I'm just waiting on the best school, and I'm going to decide with my family what's best for me."
Pittsburg did lose a lot of key players.
Yet Brad Baca, the eternal carryover, sees big opportunities for the Pirates program on the horizon. After this 10-2 start off a 4-7 year, it's hard to doubt him.
"I feel like we're returning a bunch," the head coach said. "Defensive line, we're brining two of them back. Offensively, we're losing the quarterback and some key offensive line parts, but we're bringing back Dejour Dowell and Deldric Shields. We've got a lot. I'm hoping that this was a foundation to build on and we'll continue to grow as a program."
Argyle 59, Pittsburg 34
Class 4A Division I Area Round Playoff Game
Royse City ISD Stadium, Royse City
Pittsburg 0 7 14 13 -- 34
Argyle 24 14 7 14 -- 59
ARG--Taylor Sweatt 1 run (Caleb Holt kick), 10:08
ARG--Holt 22 field goal, 7:20
ARG--Sweatt 12 run (Holt kick), 4:13
ARG--Gage McCook 20 pass from Dane Ledford (Holt kick), :00
ARG--Drew Estrada 13 pass from Ledford (Holt kick), 7:47
ARG--McCook 36 run (Holt kick), 1:52
PIT--Damien Porter 38 pass from Brian Baca (Alex Rodriguez kick), :59
PIT--Baca 6 run (Rodriguez kick), 10:11
ARG--McCook 1 run (Holt kick), 7:25
PIT--Dejour Dowell 6 pass from Baca (Rodriguez kick), :30
PIT--Fre'zarian Harrison 2 run (Rodriguez kick), 10:13
ARG--Sweatt 7 run (Holt kick), 6:58
PIT--baca 1 run (pass failed), 2:14
ARG--Gage Campbell 36 interception return (Holt kick), :30
First Downs 21 21
Total Yards 459 385
Rushes-Yards 34-131 44-263
Passing Yards 328 122
Comp.-Att.-Int. 22-38-2 11-17-1
Punts-Avg. 6-22.7 3-35.6
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 9-79 4-25
RUSHING--Pittsburg, Brian Baca 24-93,Tary Walker 9-36, Fre'zarian Harrison 1-2. Argyle, Taylor Sweatt 30-192, Gage McCook 7-44, Dane Ledford 3-14, J.C. Chalk 3-9, Drew Estrada 1-4.
PASSING--Pittsburg, Baca 21-37-2--311, Damien Porter 1-1-0--17. Argyle, Ledford 11-17-1--122
RECEIVING--Pittsburg, Dejour Dowell 8-121, Porter 4-83, Deldric Shields 6-50, Billy Kimble 3-45, Walker 1-29. Argyle, Estrada 3-35, Scott Smith 2-32, McCook 2-22, J.C. Chalk 3-22, Sweatt 1-11.