CAPTION: Burnet junior receiver Colt Stanford celebrates his 62-yard touchdown reception with senior receiver Jace Haberer. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography
The Burnet High School football team crushed Early 52-14 Sept. 22 to ensure a very happy homecoming.
The Bulldogs (3-2, District 13-4A Division I) will take a bye next week before heading to Lampasas (4-1) for the district opener Oct. 6.
“Better than being 2-3,” Burnet head coach Bryan Wood said with a chuckle. “We thought going into preseason, we for sure wanted to get three. I was hoping for more. Anytime you go into a bye off a win, you feel better.”
More happened quickly against Early. In four plays, Burnet scored three touchdowns on a 14-yard reception, a 64-yard catch and a 62-yard reception for a 26-7 advantage after the first quarter.
“We hit some big plays,” Wood said. “It all happened really quick.”
By the end, junior quarterback Rhett Murray completed 11 of 14 passes for 286 yards and five touchdowns during the game. Senior receiver Grant Jones caught four passes for 123 yards and three scores of 64, 30 and 17 yards. Junior receiver Colt Stanford caught a 62-yard touchdown, while senior receiver Will Johnson had a 14-yard touchdown catch. Meanwhile senior running back Dash Denton had nine rushes for 89 yards, while sophomore running back Josiah Coronado had 11 carries for 97 yards and a score, and junior running back Khris Kassner had four rushes for 28 yards and a touchdown.
“Our skill guys are our strength,” Wood said. “Both of our quarterbacks (junior Marcus Pimentel) have done a great job. Rhett has stepped up in the pocket and thrown dots. He gets more confident every game. We have some guys who are explosive. We’re balanced enough that you can’t lock in on one guy. Grant always draws a lot of attention. We had eight different guys catch balls. We had 11 guys who touched the ball (against Early). We have to move around and do some things to be successful.”
Meanwhile, Burnet was as stingy as ever defensively. The Longhorns were held to 38 rushing yards and 179 receiving yards. Junior defensive back Lew Laidler led with eight tackles followed by senior defensive back Trenton Park and Kassner with seven apiece, and linebacker Denton with six tackles. Sophomore defensive back Riley Howell had five pressures and five tackles, while Johnson had five tackles and three pressures.
“We were in the right spots,” Wood said. “I thought we got off the field pretty good.”
Kicker Sam Rodriguez performed well in making his debut under the Friday night lights.
“He did a great job,” Wood said. “Overall in special teams, we were pretty good.”
While he was happy to have won two in a row, Wood believes the Bulldogs can get better.
“We made the same silly mistakes we made the week before with penalties and not getting off the field,” he said. “We have to get better on being more aggressive on the back end (defensively) as far as breaking on the ball.”
Wood gave the Bulldogs the weekend off and promised every second of the next two weeks will be used to its fullest.
“We’re going to show up (Sept. 25), and we have a lot to work on,” he said. “It’s not a bye week, it’s refocus week. We’re going to go back and work on fundamentals. It feels good after a win.”
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