EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
LAMPASAS — The Lampasas Badgers jumped out to a 23-6 lead in the first half and despite a valiant effort by the Burnet Bulldogs in the second half, the initial Lampasas lead was too much to overcome as the Badgers went on to win, 51-35.
The loss drops Burnet to 0-4 in District 13-4A Division I and 3-4 overall. Lampasas improved to 1-3 in district and 2-7 overall.
“I’m really proud of our kids and how they fought in that second half,” Burnet head coach Kurt Jones said. “They just kept fighting and never quit.”
The Badgers, led by freshman quarterback Ace Whitehead, struck quickly by capitalizing on a big pass play that set Lampasas up on Burnet’s 18-yard line. A few plays later, Lampasas’s Seth Crockett rambled in from 2 yards out.
Burnet’s first drive with a healthy dose of Chandler Galban and Ian Carter pushed its way down to the Lampasas 13-yard line, but on a fourth-and-2 play, the Bulldogs couldn’t convert and turned it over on downs. Lampasas drove back to midfield but, also on a fourth-and-2 play couldn’t get the needed yards and handed the ball back to Burnet.
The Bulldogs worked their way down to the Badgers 34-yard line but were forced to punt.
Things began looking as if it was going to be a defensive slugfest as Burnet’s defense held Lampasas to a 40-yard field goal on the ensuing drive.
Then, the Badgers offense woke up in the second quarter thanks a lot to senior running back Sean Williams, who had several big runs, including a 65-yard ramble that set up Lampasas on Burnet’ s 5-yard line. Cockrell topped the drive off with his second touchdown of the night.
The Badgers added a third touchdown, this time on Whitehead connecting with one of his go-to receivers, Brandon Pierino, for a 34-yard score. It gave Lampasas a 23-0 lead, but Burnet was about to get things going on offense.
Quarterback Galban started things with a 25-yard pass to his brother, Sterling Galban, to get the drive going. The Bulldogs eventually battled their way down to Lampasas’s 4-yard line, where Chandler Galban turned to his right, pitched the ball to Jordan Godfrey, who cut back across the field then lobbed a pass to Tyler Torres in the end zone.
The two teams went into the half with Lampasas leading, 23-6.
Burnet struck right out of the gate in the second half as Carter exploded for a 40-yard touchdown, cutting into the Lampasas lead to make it 23-13.
The Badgers responded with a scoring drive and edged out to a 30-13 lead. Then, they tacked on another touchdown to push their lead to 37-13.
The Bulldogs returned the favor, this time with Carter adding a 3-yard touchdown run. Burnet tacked on a two-point conversion, but the Badgers still led 37-21.
The Badgers added another touchdown set up by a fumble recovery before Burnet could respond again.
The Bulldogs moved the ball to Lampasas’s 23-yard line and called a play that put the ball in Chandler Galban’s hands twice.
Chandler Galban took the snap, handed it off the Carter, who then pitched it to Sterling Galban. The older Galban rolled out to his right before passing the ball downfield to his brother’s hands. The play put Burnet on Lampasas’s 5-yard line, and two plays later, Carter punched it in.
Lampasas still held a 44-28 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the game, but with the Burnet offense getting hot, the 16-point difference didn’t seem safe for the Badgers.
But Lampasas added one more touchdown to give them a bit more cushion at 51-28. Burnet scored one more time, this time with Chandler Galban connecting with Blaine Burkhalter for a 3-yard touchdown with 57 seconds left in the game.
It wasn’t enough as Lampasas earned its first district win, 51-35.
“We kept fighting, but my hat’s off to Lampasas,” Jones added. “They have a tough squad there, and I don’t think their record reflects just how good they are and how well they’ve played this year.”
Burnet wraps up their season Friday, Nov. 10, when they host Waco La Vega at Bulldog Field with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Listen to the game on KMPN 95.9 FM or at KBEYFM.com starting with a 7 p.m. pregame show.