Burnet starts 1-0 in District
It was no secret how important a win was for either team when the Burnet Bulldogs traveled to Fredericksburg to face the Billies on Friday night. When the Bulldogs grinded out a 21-6 victory, their fans were showing them the love.
It wasn’t all pretty, but from the minute our boys stepped on the field they put in work. The BHS motto, spirit, pride and honor was in full effect.
There were big plays and big penalties; big hits came in numbers, and without a doubt there were some big time catches.
For the better part of four quarters this contest had fans on edge on both sides of the stadium. The defenses stood tall early but with just over three minutes to play, facing a third and 18, a Jaxson Denton to Devonte Miller touchdown pass is was what helped seal the deal for the Dawgs.
As good as an athlete as the Billies’ No. 12 was Burnet’s No. 1 was simply unstoppable. It was a deep jump ball situation, two athletes went up for it, and one came down with it.
One staff was jumping with joy as the other sides coach reverberated, “Young man we couldn’t ask any better of you than that.”
It was just the type of win the Bulldogs needed; a passion-filled, confidence-boosting victory over a quality Fredericksburg Billies team.
It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to get their fans on their feet. A Maison Thornley fumble recovery on play two had team green supporters screaming loud and proud, but the Billies defense silenced their visitors with a fumble recovery of their own just three plays later.
Big plays by the Bulldogs were overshadowed by penalties on several occasions, including an early Jaxson Denton touchdown run nullified by a yellow flag.
Both teams kept bringing it on both sides of the ball.
The Bulldogs were spreading the rock around early with completions and carries by multiple athletes. In the first 10-plays alone Burnet ball handlers included Denton, Marcus Escamilla, Ethan Wolfe, Joseph Fitzsimmons, Braeden Howell and Grishma Pun.
The first quarter ended 0-0 and the Billies soon denied the Bulldogs the game’s first points again, this time with a blocked 21-yard field goal attempt.
Thornley and Nikko Ynfante were just a couple of relentless Bulldog defenders whose efforts promptly had the Billies in third and long before Landon Christian ripped a deep Fredericksburg pass away for an interception.
The home team Billies would eventually post the first points of the contest on a 16- yard quarterback run. Burnet’s Hunter McCoy blocked the extra-point to keep it 6-0 which was the score at the break.
Perhaps the biggest play of the third quarter was a Bulldog stop on a Billie’s fourth and one attempt; it was a huge stop following a previous roughing the kicker call that had given the home team another set of downs.
The Bulldog offense turned that turnover on downs into their first points of the game.
They would first have to overcome a third and long, and the Billies were duped with a strategic Burnet play that earned a new set of downs. In short time Miller posted Burnet’s first touchdown with a great come back adjustment diving catch between two defenders. Out of a good Jackson Crawford hold, kicker Jose Flores gave Burnet the lead with a swing of the leg, 7-6 Bulldogs, 5:03 third.
Things only intensified from this point on; every run, every catch, every hit, they all had a little extra vigor.
Bulldog defenders were on the hunt. Guys like Thornley, Howell, Brandon Ng, Caleb Roberts, Ynfante, Jesse Laidler and Miller were studdin’ up.
The Bulldog offense was forced into a fourth and eight situation at the start of the fourth before the 11 to 1 connection came through again. Denton put it on the spot and Miller collected his second touchdown of the night. Flores made good on the kick after giving the Bulldogs a little breathing room at 14-6, 11:03 fourth.
The game’s final score came with 3:15 to play when Miller simply out-athleted one of the Billies best for a remarkable touchdown catch, his third of the game and it was a charm, 21-6, and that would also be the final.
The Bulldogs were clicking in all three phases of the game in the second half of this contest. Special teams played a huge role, up-front and downfield blockers can’t be praised enough, you guys know who you are, and the offensive line also shined.
The pick-me-ups, the I-got-your-back moments, the relentless defensive efforts and the heart of the Dawgs had many Bulldog backers expressing their proudness at the conclusion.
Coach Jerod Rye was pleased with what he saw on Friday night saying, “I felt like our defense played with great energy and effort from start to finish against a really good Fredericksburg offense. We had chances in the first half offensively to put points on the board and we just didn’t get it done. In the second half we were able to capitalize on opportunities on offense when we got them.”
Rye went on to say, “ Winning the first district game is always huge, especially when you’re the underdog and on the road. We have to use that momentum and take it into the rest of our games and go find a way to grab a playoff spot. We were obviously proud of the win, but even more proud of how our kids handled adversity when it arose and how well they played together as a team.”
The Bulldogs have an incredible challenge Friday as they welcome the No. 2 ranked Lampasas Badgers to town. The Badgers are coming off a 59-0 district win over Taylor in week one. In other District 13-4A play Austin LBJ defeated Canyon Lake 21-14. This week’s match-ups include Lampasas at Burnet, Fredericksburg at Austin LBJ and Taylor at Canyon Lake.