EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
BURNET — With 45 seconds left in the first half, and little or nothing to show offensively for the first 23 minutes and 15 seconds, it looked like the Burnet Bulldogs would head into the locker room in a 0-0 tie with the Llano Yellow Jacket on homecoming.
Then, the Galban brothers connected on two big plays to get things rolling for the Bulldogs. First, quarterback Chandler Galban hit receiver Sterling Galban on a 21-yard pass to get into Llano territory. Next, the two teamed up for an 8-yard pass play, moving the ball to the Llano 26-yard line. Finally, they topped off the drive with a 26-yard touchdown with seven seconds left in the half.
Jose Salazar’s point-after attempt was good, and Burnet had a 7-0 lead heading into the locker room.
After a first half of stingy defense on both sides of the field, it looked like the Burnet-Llano game would go down as a low-scoring, defensive battle.
Then on the opening kickoff in the second half, Sterling Galban raced 85 yards for a touchdown. That started the scoring on the way to a 31-21 victory for the Bulldogs.
The win moves Burnet (District 13-4A Division I) to 4-1, while Llano (13-4A Division II) slips to 2-3.
Though the Bulldogs jumped out to the 14-0 lead, Llano got right back in the game on the possession following Sterling Galban’s touchdown return.
Llano quarterback Cade Fly capped off a 43-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown.
The Bulldogs, however, were far from finished on offense. Two possessions later, Burnet moved down to the Llano 29-yard line, but things looked as if they had stalled when Burnet faced a fourth-and-9 situation.
Burnet went for the first down, and Chandler Galban hit Jordan Godfrey for a 28-yard first down pass, setting up the Bulldogs on the Llano 4-yard line. Then, freshman Jaxson Denton rumbled in for a touchdown and 21-7 lead.
Burnet’s Ian Carter added one more touchdown with Salazar capping off the Bulldogs scoring with a 30-yard field goal.
Llano didn’t collapse but added two more touchdowns.
Defensively, the Bulldogs turned in a solid game. The defense forced at least three fumbles with Silver Hinson causing two of them. Zach Ferguson picked up one of those fumbles and returned the ball 35 yards to Llano’s 1-yard line, which set up Carter’s 1-yard touchdown run.
Llano’s Fly accounted for two of the Yellow Jackets’ scores with Ben Walling adding the third.
The Bulldogs take next week off as they prepare for district play on Oct. 13 when China Spring comes to town. Llano hosts Austin Eastside for homecoming Oct. 6.