CAPTION: The Burnet Bulldogs scored quick touchdowns against the Brownwood Lions to thrill the Kelly green faithful. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Ludecke Photography
The Burnet High School football team lost to Brownwood 33-20 Sept. 9 in a contest that illustrated the Bulldogs’ fight.
“We are playing extremely hard and our last two opponents are really good,” Bulldogs head coach Bryan Wood said. “We were there toe to toe. Brownwood is just good. They don’t make many mistakes. It’s a solid Class 4A team. They’re going deep in the playoffs.”
Burnet (1-2, District 13-4A Division I) got the start it wanted — two touchdowns in the first quarter — to take an early 14-0 lead. The first score was the result of a fumble recover that junior receiver Grant Jones turned into a touchdown on a jet sweep and a 23-yard vertical pass to junior receiver Trenton Park from senior quarterback Tanner O’Hair.
“It was a hot start,” Wood said.
But the Lions (1-2, District 2-4A Division I) responded early in the second quarter thanks to a two-yard run by senior running back Konlyn Anderson to trim the deficit to 14-7.
Burnet turning the ball over on downs allowed Brownwood to connect on a 10-yard field goal to cut into the lead 14-10 midway through the second period.
Anderson scored a one-yard touchdown for a 17-14 half-time lead after the Lions recovered a fumble on their own 32-yard line.
A high snap on a Burnet punt resulted in two points for Brownwood to begin the third quarter for a 19-14 advantage.
After both teams exchanged possessions, Brownwood junior dual-threat quarterback Ike Hall found senior receiver Thad Hinds for a 57-yard touchdown and a 26-14 advantage midway through the third stanza.
Anderson added his third score, this time from four yards out that pushed the lead to 33-14 with five minutes left in the contest.
The Bulldogs scored their last touchdown — a three-yard toss to junior receiver Jayce Brizendine from O’Hair — with under a minute left in the contest.
The Lions racked up 213 yards on the ground en route to earning 455 total yards of offense. Burnet had 259 yards of total offense.
O’Hair completed 21 of 32 passes for 173 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. Park caught 4 passes for 42 yards and a score. Senior running back Jose Rodriguez had 17 rushes for 65 yards, while Jones added 6 carries for 32 yards and a score.
Wood noted the week’s preparation was “no different than any other week,” he said.
“We spent our time talking about what we needed to fix,” he added. “Brownwood is as good or better than Llano. These guys are easy to coach. You hope they’re giving their best effort. We did what we had to do and had some mistakes.”
He noted the Bulldogs had drives they didn’t finish that ended in either a turnover on downs or in turnovers. Burnet also is dealing with some injuries that prevented five starters from playing. Therefore, Wood moved five players from the junior varsity to the varsity.
“And they played,” he said. “That’s pretty tough mentally for everybody. I thought they jumped out there and got after it. And Brownwood has guys who are (starting on one side of the ball). I think our conditioning isn’t the problem — we’re in great shape.”
Wood commended his players’ efforts, noting this type of fight doesn’t develop in four quarters of a game.
“I think we’re a year more mature,” he said. “We played as hard as we can play. We’re just getting better every week. We’ll make noise in district. When you’re not getting (those wins), it can be tough mentally. And you have to keep believing. You have to realize you’re playing quality teams. It’s not easy by any means.”
Burnet travels to Giddings (1-2, District 12-4A Division II) for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday, Sept. 16, at Buffalo Stadium, 1600 N. Main St.
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