CORPUS CHRISTI — It took a half, but the La Vega Pirates’ defense made plays when it had to make them.
Only up 21-13 and the Buccaneers driving deep in Pirate territory, Daylen Proctor picked off a Corpus Christi Miller pass, thwarting a scoring drive that would have seen the Miller Buccaneers have a chance to tie. The pick led to a quick Pirate score, putting No. 7 La Vega up two scores and all but putting this one to bed.
It was the first of three picks and one four turnovers forced in the second half as the Pirates cruised to a 48-13 win over Corpus Christi Miller on the road on Saturday afternoon.
What was a quick start for La Vega (3-2) — a three-play, 59-yard drive finished off by running back Nikzayver Rice’s 33-yard jaunt for a score, was turned around by the Bucs.
Quarterback Jaedyn Brown then led Miller (3-2) on a 14-play, 79-yard scoring drive that took almost five minutes off the clock.
The Buccaneers converted two fourth downs to keep the drive alive, the first inside their own 25. Brown found Jaime Jackson on a back shoulder fade to tie things up.
Another quick scoring drive and 72-yard touchdown pass to Mekhi Rice put the Pirates back up seven and after freshman Bryson Roland busted one from 70 yards out, the Buccaneers scored at the end of the half to crawl back to within a score.
But that’s when the Pirate defense reared its angry head, forcing three picks and a Jaedyn Brown fumble.
Mecca Walker and Nate Washington joined in the pick-fest in the final 24 minutes.
The Pirates scored on another big touchdown pass to Mekhi Rice and added a few more touchdowns, including a one-yard score from back up quarterback Brandon Allen.
Jaedyn Brown had a solid day in the first half, tossing two touchdowns. The sophomore ended the day with over 200 yards passing, adding over 20 more on the ground.
Ethan Greenwood and McCullion Williams combined for over 100 yards on the ground, but didn’t play much of a factor in this one.
The Buccaneers only attempted one punt the entire game. Jaimie Jackson, who also handles the kickoff duties, muffed the snap and was forced to run, but only gained a yard, setting up another easy scoring drive for the Pirates in the second half.
The Buccaneers came in averaging over 40 points per game.
Both teams have byes next week. The Pirates open district play against Stephenville on Oct. 8.