Football High School 

Burnet football faces Lampasas in region’s most anticipated match-up

CAPTION: The Burnet defensive front seven will be counted on keep the Lampasas Badgers in check. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

The Burnet High School football team is traveling to Lampasas in District 13-4A Division I’s most intriguing opener of the week.

The contest begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.

“It’s certainly the most to me,” Bulldogs head coach Bryan Wood said with a chuckle. “The way we’ve talked about it is if you want to win a district championship, you have to win this game, But if you lose, it doesn’t kill you by any means.”

The two rivals traditionally bring out the best in each other, and this year’s contest shouldn’t be any different even if a new group of varsity players take center stage.

The Badgers’ (4-1) offense is led by junior quarterback Reed Jerome, who has completed 72 of 102 passes for 992 yards, 19 touchdowns and a single interception and has 40 carries for 302 yards and four scores.

A pair of sophomore lead the rushing attack. Running back Jett Walker has 70 rushes for 671 yards and six touchdowns and KJ Reed has 25 carries for 111 yards and a score.

Junior receiver Haegan Oncken has 23 receptions for 335 yards and four touchdowns, while freshman Ty Johnson has caught 14 passes for 308 yards and four scores, and sophomore Bryson Roberts has 17 catches for 249 yards for five touchdowns.

“They keep the ball away from you,” Wood said. “Anytime you can control the clock it gives you an advantage. They’re very efficient at throwing the ball. They have 70 percent completion rate. I think they’re really, really balanced, and that’s what you try to be.”

Burnet will counter with a stingy defense led by seniors Dash Denton, Will Johnson, Trenton Park and Gilbert Valdez and juniors Khris Kassner and Lew Laidler, Wood noted experience is invaluable on this side of the ball.

“Being a year older is most of it,” he said. “We’re one more year into it. The kids are comfortable with it. We started 15-year-olds two years ago. Now they’re seniors. When you’re confident in something, you’re better at it.”

Wood noted plenty of positives about the Badgers’ defense.

“They’re plenty good,” he said. “They mix things up really well, they have different coverages. They try to confuse you. The Jimmies and the Joes make a difference. And they have some good ones.”

The Bulldogs will rely on junior quarterback Rhett Murray, who has completed 52 of 75 attempts for 961 yards, 12 touchdowns and an interception, senior receiver Grant Jones, who has 18 catches for 517 yards and nine scores, and Park, who has 16 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns. The rushing attack is led by Denton with 49 carries for 418 yards and four scores and Kassner with 28 rushes for 179 yards and four touchdowns.

The coach noted the most important part of the game plan isn’t the scheme — it’s the approach.

“Our mentality is we’re going to be aggressive,” he said. “We know that. We won’t sit back and wait to see if it’s going to happen.”

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