Defense lifts Texans to championship game
Brandon Brinkley was aware Edinburg had a high-powered offense.
But the Bay City graduate also knew that the Victoria Texans had an outstanding defense.
Brinkley had three interceptions and a fumble recovery to lead the Texans to a 35-14 win over the Landsharks in the South Conference championship game of the Crossroads Amateur Football League on Saturday night at Patti Welder Stadium.
The Texans improved to 13-0 and earned in a berth in CRAFL Bowl, which will be played at the Round Rock ISD Complex at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29.
Brinkley had touchdown returns of 20 and 28 yards as the Texans took a 21-7 halftime lead.
"I was just reading the quarterback's eyes," said Brinkley, who also played in the secondary at the University of Houston. "I broke on the ball and was able to get it."
Brinkley also had a fumble recovery at the Victoria 11-yard line that thwarted an Edinburg (11-2) scoring threat.
The Landsharks had scored 130 points in their previous two playoff games. But their lone offensive touchdown came on a 68-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
"We have a good defense," Brinkley said. "Our defensive coordinator came up with a good plan to stop them."
The defense set up the Texans' first touchdown with a fumble recovery by Wesley Belcher at the Edinburg 42.
A 36-yard pass from Cordero Williams to Doug Ford set up OJ Hughes' 1-yard touchdown run.
Hughes also scored on a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter after Edinburg had recovered a fumble on a punt attempt in the end zone for a touchdown.
Ford also had an interception and Freddy Allen returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter for the Texans, who forced eight turnovers.
"I'm excited about getting to go play in a championship game," Brinkley said. "I haven't done that since college."