FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Burnet Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 lead over the Sonora Broncos and looked to be cruising to victory, but the Broncos scored two quick touchdowns in the third quarter to make things interesting for Burnet on homecoming.
Sonora returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to cut into the Burnet lead, 21-6, then, a few minutes later, cut even deeper with a second score to make it a 21-14 ball game after a successful 2-point conversion.
The Bulldogs, however, regrouped and took control on their way to a 41-20 win. Burnet (2-3) gets a bye this coming week before it opens District 14-4A Division I play when the Lampasas Badgers (2-3) come to town Oct. 12.
Against Sonora, Burnet took control of the first half right out of the gate. Sophomore quarterback Jaxson Denton led the Bulldogs on a 71-yard drive capped off when he connected with junior wide receiver Blaine Burkhalter on a 23-yard touchdown pass.
The Bulldogs eventually got the ball back in their own territory. After some mistakes, Burnet found itself on its own 9-yard line, but it got things going in the right direction, making its way down to the Broncos’ 5-yard line.
This time, Marcus Escamilla topped off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run, and Burnet was up 14-0. That’s the way things stayed until the half.
In the third quarter, Burnet kept rolling after forcing a Sonora turnover.
The Broncos defense looked as if it had stymied the Bulldogs on the ensuing drive, boxing them into a fourth-and-4 situation. But Denton hit sophomore Luke Kiser for a 15-yard completion and first down to keep the drive alive.
A few plays later, Denton took it in himself for a 2-yard run, and, with Jose Salazar’s extra point, Burnet was up 21-0 with 8:24 left in the third quarter.
Then, the Broncos mounted a comeback starting with a 90-yard kickoff return.
The Sonora defense held Burnet and gave the ball back to its offense.
Sonora’s quarterback, senior Brian Van Winkle, found himself in good field position on the Bulldogs’ 48-yard line. And he took advantage of it. He worked the Broncos down to the Burnet 20-yard line, where things looked to falter. The Burnet defense held, and it was fourth down for Sonora on the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line. But Van Winkle completed a pass and the Broncos were on the Burnet 5-yard line, which ended up even closer after a Burnet penalty.
Van Winkle hit Wesley Dutton for a 1-yard touchdown, and the Broncos were edging closer to the Burnet lead. The Broncos got the 2-point conversion, and, just like that, it was a 21-14 ballgame.
Momentum seemed to be swinging to Sonora’s favor.
However, two drives later, the momentum moved back into Burnet’s favor in more ways than one.
Burnet worked its way to the Sonora 41-yard line, where, on the play from scrimmage, Denton took off down the field. He covered about 19 yards when a Sonora hit popped the ball out of his hands and into the air.
Burnet’s Devonte Miller was right there and snatched the ball out of the air and covered the next 20 yards for the Bulldogs’ touchdown. The PAT was no good, but the Bulldogs were up 27-14 and appeared to have regained the upper hand.
Things shifted again on the next drive as Sonora mounted an impressive drive. Led by second-string quarterback Wesley Dutton, the Broncos began moving down the field. Dutton hit Willie Munoz twice for big gains.
Then, he found Jyles Wootton for a touchdown, and the Broncos were back in striking distance at 27-20.
But that was the last strike of the night for Sonora.
Burnet added two more scores. Escamilla had 1-yard run, and Wyatt Young, who came in as quarterback in the final drive of the game, ended it with an 11-yard scoring run.
The Bulldogs enter the bye week with two back-to-back wins. They host Lampasas on Friday, Oct. 12, with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff for the District 14-4A Division I opener.