The storm after the storm, 55-12

BY WAYNE CRAIG/BURNET BULLETIN

 

The Burnet Bulldog football team opened the season in dramatic fashion Friday night with a 55-12 victory over the visiting Reagan Raiders. Skies were ominous but the game began as scheduled.

The rowdy Bulldog crowd was more than ready for some Friday night football, little did they know they would get some early Saturday morning football too.

After trading punts early the Dawgs struck first. Burnet running back Tyler Ford raced into the limelight early and often and proved to be built Ford tough as he busted through tackles again and again to help set-up Burnet’s first touchdown.

Quarterback Koby Edwards found the birthday boy Sterling Galban for the first score of the game on a 12-yard toss. There were more gifts to come for Galban. The drive lasted seven plays and covered 68-yards putting Burnet up 7-0 after Tyler Torres hit the mark on the kick after with 5:07 left in the first.

It must be noted that the up-front blocking of John Meniz, Frankie Gutierrez, Ellett Van, Jacob Scott and Carlos Herrera was fantastic.

A hustling Reid Dalrymple quickly had the Bulldogs back in business with a timely hit causing a fumble on the return that Coleman Posey pounced on at the 2-yard line.

In a blink the Bulldogs were up 14-0 after Edwards plunged into the endzone on a QB keep and Torres split the poles.

Steven Gallardo and Colin McBurnett tag-teamed the return man at the 26, but the Raiders responded with a 10 play 74-yard drive that was capped with a 1-yard touchdown run. The PAT failed, 14-6, 14 seconds left in the first.

The defenses traded shots before the Bulldogs sniffed out a Raider fake punt and gained control at the Reagan 42.

Ford cranked up the engine again and motored 29-yards on two carries putting the Bulldogs just 13 steps away.

At this point the game was delayed two hours and 10 minutes due to lightning.

At 10:28 p.m. the storm had cleared but the Raiders soon found themselves in the middle of a new storm that they couldn’t handle.

In just three ticks of the clock Edwards had thrown a dart to Gallardo and in a flash Burnet was up 21-6 after the Torres PAT.

The Dawgs turned up the intensity and began unleashing in every category.

Guys like Posey, Ford, Austin Davis, Michael Lindley, Reid Burton, and Cotton Woodum were just a few to take the defensive charge.

The Raiders did eventually find pay-dirt on a 7-yard run, but their up-the-middle conversion attempt was stopped stone cold in its tracks by Seth Carpenter, 21-12, 2:49 in the half.

Starting at their own 34 coaches decided to ride the dependable Ford again. He showed his toughness on the next snap when he powered forward for a 10-yard gain with a host of Raiders on board for the ride.

Ford added 20 more yards on the next play before a perfectly executed play resulted in another quick six.

Gallardo bated them in to perfection on an end around before setting his feet with a smile and delivering a picture perfect pass to Galban for a 36-yard score. He was all alone as he tiptoed across the goal line. Torres continued to impress with his kicking and it was 28-12 with 2:05 left in the half.

Carpenter jumped in the spotlight next and was jumping for joy with a 9-yard behind the line tackle.

Burnet defenders Alex Gonzalez and Gallardo ended the Raider drive with a combo sack that should have been a turnover at the 10 but instead forced a punt.

Starting at the Reagan 42 a 24-yard catch and run by Ford quickly pushed Burnet to the 18. Edwards soon found Galban in the back of the zone for his third touchdown of the night, this one a 4-yard score. Torres knocked one through to make it 35-12 at the break.

There was no halftime show and the break was short. Dalrymple had remaining fans cheering loud and proud with a special teams fumble recovery to start the third. The Bulldogs used seven-plays to march 30-yards and score. The drive included a fourth and 10 pick-up by Gallardo. Ford got the final two touches and covered 17-yards. He found pay-dirt on a slash and dash 8-yard run. Torres continued a spectacular night of all around kicking and added another PAT to make it 42-12, 9:55 in the third.

In short time Davis recorded a 9-yard sack and Lindley delivered a beautiful pass break-up shot.

Preston Reeves began rumbling with the rock and with a nice stiff-arm put the Bulldogs in field goal range.

Out of a Jordan Godfrey hold Torres added three more points to his resume with a 25-yard kick, 45-12, 3:04 left in the third.

The Bulldog defense was relentless and on the next play from scrimmage Posey delivered a ball jarring shot and Dalrymple was Johnny on the spot with another recovery for team green.

Faced with a fourth and 12 Gallardo took advantage of a sweet Herrera block for a new set of downs.

Ian Carter promptly raced in for a 15-yard score and with a Torres PAT the Dawgs led 52-12 with 15 seconds left in the third.

It seemed things couldn’t get much worse for the Raiders, but they did so before the third quarter could end. Garrett Young had fans that stayed for the long haul stomping their feet with another fumble recovery for the Bulldogs.

Noe Martinez became the little train that could and Bulldog fans were enjoying seeing so many new faces making plays on the field. With Rowdy Holmes taking snaps the Bulldogs found themselves back in range, and like a world class marksman Torres hit the bulls eye from 40-yards out. That brought the score to 55-12 with 7:26 to play.

In just one play Cavender ended the Raiders next series with a nice leaping interception followed by a good return to the Reagan 27.

As the final seconds were ticking off Martinez delivered one of the best hits of the game. The final score was 55-12.

In his first outing as the Bulldogs quarterback Edwards threw for 151-yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another. He completed 14 of 24 attempts. His leading receiver was Galban with six receptions for 75-yards and three touchdowns.

Senior running back Tyler Ford led the rushing attack with 12 totes for 129-yards and a score. Ford also contributed 33-yards on two receptions, and had numerous standout plays on defense including two solo tackles and an assisted stop.

It was a break out game for Ford and following the win he said, “Our team is heading in the right direction, we played very well and still have plenty of things we can improve on.”

Ford continued, “As for me personally I was just focused on doing my job and helping the team by doing what they needed me to do on offense and defense. I just tried to make the most out of every opportunity I had and the coaches kept calling my number. This was the first time I really had an opportunity to show what I have and it was a very fun game to be a part of.”

“What really helped us focus was the captains of our team, Drew Kiser, Steven Gallardo, Michael Lindley, and Austin Davis. They kept us thinking about the task at hand and that was to finish the game to the best of our ability. Also the coaches calling meetings to go over what we needed to fix and what we can do to take our game to the next level,” said Ford.

When asked about next week Ford said, “Marble Falls has always been a good team, every year has been a good game, and I don’t expect anything different but we will be prepared to take them on.”

The Bulldogs will host Marble Falls Friday night. Burnet has won the previous two meetings and holds the overall win-loss record in the game’s history by a good margin, but as always you can throw records out the door when these two meet.

In 2014 the Mustangs came storming back from a four touchdown deficit to force an overtime that Burnet won 51-45 well after midnight.

In 2015 the Bulldogs won the county grudge match 30-15. The Mustangs are coming off a 41-14 victory over Cedar Creek.

The game is scheduled to kick-off at 7:30 p.m. this Friday night at Bulldog field. It will likely be a packed house, hope to see you there.

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