The Jackson Broncs 2022 season came to an end in Buffalo with a quarterfinal round playoff loss to the Bison Friday. In a game that was billed as the Buffalo rushing attack against the Jackson passing game, it was defense and special teams that ruled the day in Johnson County in the 21-10 Bison win over the Broncs.
Buffalo 21, Jackson 10
The Broncs were nothing if not entertaining in Douglas. In a game that featured several lead changes, it was the Broncs who struck first with a 37-yard field goal from the reliable Braden Hills.
Back and forth the teams went with the Jackson defense doing a remarkable job stuffing the conference’s top-rated rushing game. Until Bison halfback Will Hammond finally broke one late in the game, the Broncs did not allow Buffalo to do much offensively. More than once, the Jackson D had to make a goal line stand to keep their team in the game.
As much as the Bison running game struggled, so too, did the #3 ranked passing attack of Jackson. A steady breeze made throwing the ball a sketchy prospect for both teams. Broncs QB Owen Janssen was also victimized by athletic Bison linebackers who sat on Jackson’s bread-and-butter slant routes and jumped them twice for interceptions—three picks in all.
Bronc killer Blake Bell scored his team’s first and final TD. A 17-yard scamper to the pylon gave Buffalo a 7-3 lead. His 38-yard pick 6 put a nail in it for Jackson.
As a junior, Bell was one of the few Bison to show up in a 75-27 loss to Jackson in last year’s quarterfinal playoff round in Jackson. Bell, and Buffalo, apparently, had not forgotten about that lopsided defeat. They exacted their revenge last Friday in front of the hometown fans.
Jackson also benefitted from a muffed punt recovery early in the game, and a blocked punt late in the game, but could not turn the good fortune into points.
It was a fair-to-middlin’ season for a team that was unmistakably rooted in a rebuild year. Jackson was at the very least competitive all season. The Broncs finish with 4-6 record overall, 2-3 in conference.
First-year head coach David White said he was shooting for a .500 season. He almost managed that. A post-season appearance was a pleasant bonus. He did it with a team that was thin on player personnel—the roster simply could not absorb multiple key injuries—but not lacking in effort.