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Winning district opener important to equally talented Burnet and Lampasas football teams

CAPTION: The Burnet Bulldogs are looking to contain the Lampasas Badgers’ lethal passing attack in the district opener for both squads. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Ludecke Photography

Long-time rival Lampasas will visit the Burnet High School football team in a most anticipated District 13-4A Division I opener.

The contest is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at Bulldog Field, 1400 Bulldog Stadium Drive.

Both teams enter this contest with identical 3-2 records. Both offenses like to sling the ball and rely on accurate quarterbacks and strong and speedy receivers to make breath-taking catches to move the chains.

The Badgers are led by senior quarterback David Flores, who has completed 92 of 140 passes for 1,214 yards, 17 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His favorite target is senior receiver Ethan Moreno, who has 42 receptions for 542 yards and 2 scores.

Burnet will counter with a trio of linebackers and defensive backs, who have been taken advantage of opportunities when presented.

Offensively, the Bulldogs have been as dangerous. Senior quarterback Tanner O’Hair has completed 74 of 130 passes for 1,009, 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Senior receiver Braden Ellett-Clark has 20 catches for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns, while junior receiver Grant Jones has 20 receptions for 348 yards and 4 scores.

But Wood believes this game will come down to which offense can pound the football. Burnet senior running back Jose Rodriguez has 78 rushes for 315 yards, while junior Dash Denton has 20 carries for 124 yards and 4 touchdowns.

“Jose has carried the load,” Wood said. “Dash is playing his way back into shape. It will be won upfront and which one of us will establish the run. This game will come down to being able to run the ball.”

Last year’s contest included two plays on special teams that gave the Badgers points. One was a punt where the quarterback threw to an uncovered receiver for the first down that resulted in a field goal. Another was not calling for a fair catch on a kickoff. The Badgers recovered the ball and got more points. Wood believes special teams also will be huge in this game.

Wood said last week’s bye was equally good for coaches and players.

“You get a chance to catch your breath,” he said. “We didn’t practice as long. You always want to plan for your coaches to be fresh. Guys got to spend time with their families and not have to work on Sunday. That keeps them fresher. We got a good lift and good conditioning (Sept. 30). We told our players to go and enjoy the weekend. Hopefully it’ll be the last one for awhile.”

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