JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
WACO — The Burnet High School football team got the stop it needed and then picked up the biggest first down of the game to take a 38-35 victory over Waco Robinson in the Class 4A Division I regional quarterfinals Nov. 28.
The Bulldogs (11-2) will play Liberty Hill in a state quarterfinal game Dec. 5 at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Austin. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Tune in to KBEY 103.9 FM or at KBEYFM.com starting with a 7 p.m. pre-game show.
“Proud of the kids, proud for the community,” Burnet head coach Kurt Jones said after the game.
Trailing by three points with seven minutes left in the game, the Rockets (8-5) drove the ball 75 yards to the Burnet five-yard line.
On third-and-four, Burnet senior linebacker Kaleb Bell and senior defensive lineman Cameron Chafin sacked Robinson junior quarterback Michael Davila for a four-yard loss.
“They brought in two tight ends, they had success running the ball,” Jones said. “We felt like the naked bootleg was coming. That was that.”
That forced a 26-yard field goal that was wide left.
So Burnet got the ball back with 2:44 left. Junior running back Brock Foster ran for 10 yards on third-and-five. That allowed the Bulldogs to kneel the ball for the win.
“We knew we had to pick up the first down,” Jones said. “You tell your line to go to work, and you tell your backs to protect the ball.”
In the first quarter, the Bulldogs took the opening drive 57 yards for a score highlighted by an 11-yard scamper to paydirt by Foster. Senior kicker Alex Melvin added the extra point.
The Rockets answered two drives later, needing only four plays to score. That’s when senior running back Levonte Owens ran in from seven yards out to tie the game at 7-7.
Melvin gave Burnet a 10-7 lead when he connected on a 27-yard field goal.
Burnet junior quarterback Austin Moore called his own number when he ran in for a six-yard touchdown for a 17-7 advantage. Burnet only needed three plays to complete the drive, highlighted by a 27-yard throw to senior receiver Cody Jones from Moore.
Robinson senior receiver Colton Goette caught a 60-yard pass from senior receiver Jacob Fuentes to trim the deficit to 17-14.
The Bulldogs answered immediately when sophomore receiver Steven Gallardo caught an eight-yard pass from Moore for a 24-17 lead. That completed a 10-play, 69-yard drive.
The Rockets, however, weren’t done. With 2:41 left in the first half, they marched 81 yards for a touchdown when Goette caught a 21-yard pass from Davila in the end zone. That cut the deficit to 24-21 at the half.
Owens began the second-half scoring by running for a 69-yard touchdown for a 28-24 Robinson lead.
Then, Burnet senior receiver Cody Jones caught the ensuing kickoff and threw it to Gallardo, who ran 81 yards to paydirt to regain the advantage at 31-28.
Owens answered with a 63-yard touchdown for a 35-31 Robinson lead.
Burnet senior running back Eric Walker scored the game’s final points when he scampered in for a three-yard touchdown to make it 38-35 Bulldogs in the third quarter.
Owens finished with 27 rushes for 321 yards. Moore completed 20 passes for 265 yards, while junior receiver Joel Johnson caught eight passes for 133 yards.
“At this point, everyone you play is good,” Jones said. “We got stops at the critical moments. Proud of our defense for making it happen.”