CAPTION: Despite the loss to Comal Davenport, the Burnet Bulldogs have a shot at the Class 4A Division I playoffs with a win at Taylor next week. Photo by Martelle Ludecke/Luedecke Photography
The Burnet High School football team may have lost its home finale to Comal Davenport 42-28 Oct. 28 but the season wasn’t lost.
The Bulldogs (4-5, 1-3 District 13-4A Division I) will head to Taylor Friday, Nov. 4, for a winner-take-all contest where the victor finishes fourth in District 13-4A Division I and qualifies for the playoffs. The contest is at 7:30 p.m. at Taylor Stadium, 355 FM 973. The Ducks are coming off a 42-24 loss to Canyon Lake.
“I told our players ‘welcome to the playoffs,'” Burnet head coach Bryan Wood said. “I’m glad we got that opportunity. I would say our kids work hard all the time. You’d like to see (our intensity and focus) come up a notch. I feel like our guys have done that all year.”
As for the loss to Davenport (8-1, 3-1), the Wolves scored on their opening possession thanks to one-yard rushing touchdown by junior receiver Emmet Greiman for a 7-0 lead.
Burnet answered immediately thanks to a three-yard rushing touchdown by junior athlete Grant Jones to tie the contest at 7-7.
The Wolves retook the lead when junior quarterback Trison Hamlin ran nine yards to paydirt and a 14-7 advantage, which is how the quarter ended.
Jones answered with another score, this one from two yards out and a 14-14 tie.
Greiman added touchdown No. 2 when he ran into the end zone from five yards for a 21-14 advantage with 8 minutes left in the half.
Davenport took advantage of a short field, starting its next drive at the Burnet 37-yard line. Hamlin found Greiman for a three-yard touchdown to push the lead to 28-14 late in the second quarter.
Davenport senior athlete Darion Brown had an interception on the Wolves 33-yard line to preserve the two-touchdown lead at the half.
A Burnet fumble was recovered by Davenport junior inside linebacker Zahir Livingston that Hamlin turned into a 42-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Kyler Payne for a 35-14 advantage midway through the third stanza.
The Bulldogs scored a rushing touchdown to trim the deficit to 35-21 going into the fourth period.
Hamlin got the score back immediately when he ran to the end zone from seven yards for the 42-21 lead.
Burnet converted several fourth downs on its next drive and reached the Davenport 22-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
But the Bulldogs wouldn’t accept the outcome as evidenced by the fumble recovery by sophomore linebacker Khris Kassner on the Wolves’ 26-yard line.
Senior running back Jose Rodriguez ran 12 yards for the touchdown to cut the lead to 42-28.
The Bulldogs had 378 yards of total offense with 268 of it coming on the ground led by junior running back Dash Denton’s 125 yards and a score on 13 carries. Jones had 20 rushes for 85 yards and two scores and also completed 9 of 16 passes for 110 yards.
The Wolves had 395 yards of total offense with 172 rushing yards and 223 passing yards.
Wood said the difference in the contest came down to execution and speed.
“You turn it over three times and all of them were real crucial,” he said. “One was in the red zone to tie it up. Turnovers for sure. Another came when we snapped it, they didn’t jump offsides. It was a bad move on our part. We fumbled on effort cause we’re trying to make a play. And there’s the interception. We’re trying hard for sure. Davenport is really good offensively. They’re well coached, and when they get loose, you can tell we don’t have that speed.”
The coach acknowledged depth is an issue, but that has been part of the season because of the number of athletes who came out for the sport in August. Injuries also have forced coaches to move underclassmen to the varsity.
“We played without five seniors,” he said. “Our last drive of the game we had three sophomores and a freshman on the offensive line and a sophomore quarterback. We’re playing who we have (available) to play. We’re starting three sophomores on the offensive line cause that’s what we have. Do we play our defensive linemen on the offensive line and never let them come off the field? Or do we try to rest them? There aren’t a lot of choices at this point. Everybody is giving their best effort.”
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