JENNIFER FIERRO / STAFF WRITER
BURNET — A four-minute scoring spree in the first quarter led the Burnet High School football team to a 33-12 win over Burnet County rival Marble Falls on Sept. 2 in the 100th meeting between the two squads.
The Bulldogs now lead the overall series 51-40-9.
“It was a hard-fought ballgame, what Burnet County comes to expect,” Burnet head coach Kurt Jones said.
The Bulldogs (2-0) scored 16 points in about four minutes thanks to a safety, a touchdown pass to senior receiver Steven Gallardo from senior quarterback Koby Edwards and a touchdown pass to senior receiver Drew Kiser from Edwards.
Mustangs head coach Matt Green said that sequence of plays determined the outcome because so much of the damage was self-inflicted.
On the ensuing drive after a high snap by the Mustangs that led to a safety, Burnet overcame first-and-25 when senior receiver Tyler Ford ran for 18 yards on second down. On third down, Edwards threw into the end zone in double coverage. The Mustangs (1-1) tipped the ball, but Gallardo caught the tip for the score to make it 9-0.
A Marble Falls fumble on its next drive gave Burnet a first down on the Mustangs’ 28. In one play, Edwards found Kiser for a 28-yard touchdown and a 16-0 lead.
Marble Falls ended its first drive of the second quarter with a 23-yard field goal by senior kicker Gavino Tinajera to trim the deficit to 16-3.
On the Mustangs’ next drive, sophomore quarterback Andrew Stripling, in his first varsity start, led them on an 84-yard score capped by a 48-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Keegan Deering. The extra point was missed, and Burnet led 16-9.
A minute later, Edwards hit Kiser on a 40-yard touchdown pass to extend Burnet’s lead to 23-9, which was the halftime score.
Tinajera added a 32-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 23-12 to begin the second half.
A fumble gave the Bulldogs a short field, and Ford finished with a 4-yard touchdown run for a 30-12 lead with a minute left in the third quarter.
Burnet junior kicker Tyler Torres ended the scoring with a 32-yard field goal with 2:24 left in the contest.
Edwards completed 12 passes for about 150 yards and three touchdowns, while Ford had 11 rushes for 111 yards and a score. Kiser finished with two catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
“(Ford) is great for us,” Jones said. “He can catch the ball for us, he can run with the ball, and he can play defense.”
Green noted the Mustangs had their hands on three possible interceptions, but those instead resulted in two tipped balls that the Bulldogs caught to extend drives for scores.
“We had them stopped, and they had no shot at catching the ball,” he said.
Another self-inflicted wound for Marble Falls was the more than 100 yards in penalties.
“It’s awful,” Green said. “We’re young, injured and banged up. We played youth. They played hard. They’re trying to figure out how to play on this level.”
As for the chances inside the Burnet 20, Green simply said, “We had our opportunities to score and missed on those opportunities.”
Stripling completed about 20 passes for more than 200 yards with a touchdown for the Mustangs. Senior running back Dalton Mayberry had 11 carries for 73 yards, and junior receiver Keegan Deering had four catches for about 100 yards and a score.
Jones credited Burnet defensive coordinator Jerod Rye and his defense for making the Mustangs uncomfortable throughout the game.
“Our defense kept coming up with the big stop,” he said. “The kids learned a new defense. They seemed to pick it up quite well. You’re beginning to see something come together defensively.”