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Burnet football beats Early in a wild finish that can be summed up in 2 words: Bulldog Fight

CAPTION: The Burnet offensive line is doing its part by pass protecting and opening holes for running backs that helps the Bulldogs earn wins. Photo courtesy of Mandy Groothoff

The Burnet High School football ends its pre-district schedule with a come-from-behind 49-48 win at Early Sept. 23 and proved once more the Bulldog Fight is real.

Burnet (3-2, District 13-4A Division I) led for almost four quarters. But a late Longhorns touchdown tied the contest at 35-35 with five minutes left.

Bulldogs senior quarterback Tanner O’Hair found senior receiver Braden Ellett-Clark on a 24-yard touchdown pass — the duo’s third of the game — for a 41-35 lead with four minutes remaining.

Early, however, refused to go away quietly thanks to another touchdown pass from senior quarterback Jaxyn Price. The extra point was good and the Longhorns led 42-41 with two minutes left.

The Longhorns defense forced Burnet to turn the ball over on downs with 1:45 left. But Early scored a touchdown for a 48-41 lead and left O’Hair 1:33 on the clock and two timeouts for what seemed to be an unlikely victory.

That came courtesy of junior running back Dash Denton, who scored his third touchdown. Then O’Hair hit junior receiver Grant Jones on the two-point pass for the win with 18 seconds left. The key play in the drive was a 55-yard pass to Jones from O’Hair that set up Denton.

“I like the fact our guys found ways to win,” Burnet head coach Bryan Wood said. “We’re appreciative of that. The kids have done well.”

The Bulldogs took an early two touchdown lead, scoring both in a total of three plays, Wood said.

One touchdown came on a 35-yard pass to Ellett-Clark from O’Hair for a 7-0 lead on the game’s opening possession.

The other came on a 54-yard rushing touchdown by Jones for a 13-0 lead with eight minutes left in the first quarter.

But the Longhorns struck back, scoring on a 30-yard touchdown to trim the deficit to 13-7 with six minutes remaining.

Just when it looked like Early was going to tie things up, Jones stepped in front of a pass for the interception on the Bulldogs’ 29-yard line.

Denton did the rest, running for a 20-yard touchdown. O’Hair found Ellett-Clark on the two-point pass for a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Early junior running back Griffin Cheslock answered with a 16-yard scamper to cut into the lead 21-14 midway through the second period.

But O’Hair and Ellett-Clark weren’t done. The quarterback found the receiver for a 57-yard scoring pass to get the touchdown back and retake a two-score lead 28-14.

The Longhorns, however, added two touchdowns in the final minute, a six-yard scoring pass and a 23-yard rushing score, to tie the contest at 28-28 at the half.

Denton began the third stanza with his second touchdown, a 35-yard run, for a 35-28 advantage, which is how the quarter ended.

Price found senior receiver Jeremy Brown on a 10-yard touchdown pass and a 35-35 tie with five minutes left in the game.

That set up the final wild moments and the Bulldogs’ victory.

“They would never go away,” Wood said. “We liked what we were doing offensively. It’s like we were trading scores.”

O’Hair completed 12 of 20 passes for 259 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Ellett-Clark had 5 catches for 125 yards and 3 scores. Jones caught 3 passes for 75 yards and had 4 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. Denton had 14 rushes for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Burnet finished with 493 yards of total offense with 260 coming in the air and 233 on the ground. Early had 476 yards of total offense with 334 in the passing game and 142 in the rushing game.

Junior linebacker Trenton Park led the Burnet defense with 9 solo tackles, 15 total and 3 for loss, and a sack. Sophomore linebacker Khris Kassner had 7 solo tackles and 10 total tackles.

The Bulldogs are on a bye this week before welcoming Lampasas to begin district play Friday, Oct. 7.

“Going into the season, we needed to win three of the five non-district games,” Wood said. “The two losses, to Brownwood and Llano, I thought were the two best games we played. We’ll practice every day. We’ll and do a lot of polishing this week.”

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3 Thoughts to “Burnet football beats Early in a wild finish that can be summed up in 2 words: Bulldog Fight”

  1. […] Burnet Bulldogs pulled off an unlikely victory, getting a touchdown and making a two-point conversio… and move to 3-2 on the season. More importantly, the Bulldogs have won two in a row and are […]

  2. […] is the players never believe they’re out of a game, no matter the score. That was apparent in how they beat Early 49-48 and how they defeated Giddings 28-7 to win the last two […]

  3. […] of games here and there during the five-week pre-district schedule. And they had some back for the heart-stopping 49-48 comeback win against Early Sept. 23. The most important Bulldog who played might have been junior running back Dash Denton, who had 14 […]

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