Dawgs dig a hole in China, 49-13




It wasn’t all ugly in Cougar Country last Friday night. While the score may indicate a complete behind-the-woodshed thrashing by No.3 China Spring over No.10 Burnet, one might want to investigate before judging a book by its cover.

The contest could have easily been a seven-point game at half; rather than 21-7.

Anybody that’s calling it like they saw it knows Burnet missed many opportunities.

Yes, those China men have some big play ability in their arsenal. They proved that in the third via a fake punt, long quick shift runs, and even through the air. Right now they are the cream of the crop, but not out of Burnet’s league. Factor in the fact that the Bulldogs marched inside the 20-yard line four times; two of those inside the five with no points to show for those lengthy drive efforts.

There were drops, missed assignments, and penalties. All are part of the game, best of all there was no finger pointing, the Bulldogs lost as a team to a better team on that given day.

That one is behind them, now a little amnesia, some quick healing bodies, and a rowdy Bulldog crowd is needed as a stout Gatesville Hornet team rolls into town on Friday.

For record purposes there has to be a recap; so here’s the game.

Burnet won the toss and elected offense. With some nifty moves Burnet’s Steven Gallardo moved the chains on play one with an 11-yard catch and run.

Quarterback Koby Edwards got’em twice with hard counts before connecting with Sterling Galban on a deep ball to the China Spring 38.

Gallardo again moved the sticks with a 10-yard grab, but the Bulldogs’ first series ended on play 11 with a turnover on downs at the Cougar 19.

The Cougars avoided a disaster recovering a fumble on their first play at their own 14. The hometown team then responded with a methodical 16-play drive that included one fourth-down pick-up and was capped with a 2-yard touchdown run on third down. The PAT made it 7-0 with 1:44 left in the first.

Preston Reeves was the early workhorse in Burnet’s second series but the Dawgs were forced to punt on play nine.

The speed of Tyler Ford saved a touchdown on the Cougars’ next snap as he ran down a sprinting Cat. His teammates Coleman Posey, Jordan Godfrey, Gallardo, Galban, and Drew Kiser made some defensive plays of their own, but after 10-plays the boys in blue found pay dirt again. It was a 10-yard pass that posted points, 14-0, 7:41 left in the half.

Gallardo and Ford fought for tough yards with a few totes each before Edwards spun and hurdled his way into China Spring territory on a 14-yard run. A fantastic long-ball catch under tight coverage by Galban helped set-up Burnet’s first score from the 11.

Ford rumbled into the zone on the following snap and put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with an 11-yard rush. Tyler Torres added the PAT, 14-7, 4:00 to play in the half.

The Cougars promptly answered with a seven-play 63-yard drive, scoring on a 40-yard pass with the Cougar receiver’s pants near his knees as he sprung free and found the endzone. Extra-point good, 21-7, 1:35 until break.

In a hurry up offense the Dawgs leaned on Gallardo and Ford first and behind some great blocks they were threatening at the Cougar 39. Galban and Kiser appeared to have turned the scoring threat into a sure bet when they hauled in back-to-back passes advancing Burnet to the Cougar 6-yard line. Clock stops for a first down but controversy ensued as the Bulldogs were set, ready and immediately spiked with one tick left that ran off with no explanation as the halftime buzzer sounded.

The Bulldogs’ defense returned with a fighters spirit and in short time two huge plays by Kyle Cavender and an errant pass had the Cougars in punt formation with not a step gained. Unfortunately the Cougars caught Burnet sleeping and easily picked-up the 10-yards needed plus 40 more as the punter raced to the Bulldog 10.

This is about when the wheels fell off of the wagon.

Two plays later the Cougars punched it in for a 5-yard score, 28-7, 10:20 third.

Penalties put Burnet in deeper holes on back-to-back kickoffs and China Spring continued to pile on the points.

Their next score came on a 72-yard QB keep, PAT good, 35-7, 8:08 third.

By the 5:54 mark of the third the Cougars had forced a three and out and were re-visiting the paint, this time on a 44-yard catch and run to make it 42-7.

There was no quit in the Dawgs and on the heels of Galban, Ford and Gallardo Burnet covered 70-yards in seven-plays, where they had a first and goal from the five, but a stingy Cougar secondary forced three consecutive incomplete passes to turn the ball over.

It was a collective no-quit effort on defense and Cotton Woodum, Austin Davis, Reid Burton, and Cavender were the next wave of defenders making plays forcing a three and out.

Galban soon had fans cheering with a spectacular 41-yard catch with blanket coverage on him. That put Burnet just 15-steps away. On their next snap and unfortunate throw-away pass by Edwards didn’t make it out of bounds and a Cougar settled in and awaited an easy pick; he then returned the ball all the way back to the Burnet 10.

Great Bulldog defense prevented a score here but with 2:53 left in the contest a Cougar found the zone on a 4-yard run capping a nine-play 63-yard drive, 49-7.

The final score of the game came on a 4-yard Edwards to Rowdy Holmes pass which brought the final score to 49-13.

In stat comparison Burnet had 435-yards of offense, 330 passing with one TD and one INT; and 105 rushing with one TD.

The Cougars did most of their damage on the ground with 424 rushing yards and five touchdowns; and 103-yards passing with two scores.

Edwards completed 24 of 40 attempts for 330-yards, one score, one INT.

Leading receivers were Galban, nine for 133; and Gallardo 10 for 107.

Leading rushers were Ford, 11 for 65, one TD; and Reeves, six for 22.

Burnet will host Gatesville Friday night, 7:30 p.m. start.

The Hornets are coming off a 56-42 home victory over Lampasas. They are 4-2, 1-0 this season. The other district game had La Vega beating Liberty Hill, 34-20.

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