STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Burnet High School football team has plenty to play for when the Bulldogs host Taylor on Friday night in a District 14-4A Division I game, their last of the season.
Among those reasons are giving a proper sendoff to the squad’s seniors and experiencing the joy of victory once more this season.
“Our seniors have battled hard and led us in the right way,” head coach Kurt Jones said.
But the Bulldogs (2-7 overall, 0-4 district) are anticipating getting the Ducks’ very best efforts.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Bulldog Field, 1400 Bulldog Stadium Drive in Burnet.
Both programs know each other well, having faced one another numerous times throughout the years.
“This looks like a typical Taylor team,” Jones said. “It’s scrappy and well-coached. The offensive and defensive linemen are very talented. The running backs and wide receivers are as skilled as any in the district.”
The Ducks (3-6, 1-3) are led by junior quarterback Cole Harms, who operates from the shotgun in a spread offense. Other top players include junior running back Jailen Tealer and junior receiver JoJo Torres.
Jones noted Taylor has plenty of team speed, a usual trait of the program.
Defensively, Taylor is led by sophomore defensive end Ja’ron Carver and noseguards Alex Estrada, a sophomore, and Elijah Tellez, a junior.
“They have a big defensive line that’s very strong, and they dig in their heels,” Jones said. “It’s hard to get movement.”
Since many of the linebackers and defensive backs also play running back and wide receiver, the Ducks will have plenty of speed behind the linemen.
One player to watch is Taylor senior kicker and punter Ryan Hanson, a four-year letterman who has offers from West Point and Midwestern State University as a punter.
Up until Nov. 2, the Bulldogs had a shot at the playoffs.
For three quarters that night, the Burnet and Fredericksburg teams wouldn’t give an inch in a contest each squad had to win in order to advance.
The Bulldogs held a 42-40 advantage at one point. The Billies, however, outscored Burnet 20-7 the rest of the game to win 60-49.
Jones called Fredericksburg “a solid team.”
“We knew it would be a tremendous challenge,” he said. “Our kids battled so hard and slugged it out as much as they could.”
The Bulldogs led 16-14 after the first quarter but trailed 28-26 at the half.
Jones noted Burnet had some opportunities but couldn’t capitalize on them and didn’t get enough defensive stops.
He noted Fredericksburg (5-4, 2-2) got a safety at what Jones called a critical time, and the Bulldogs were unable to secure a turnover.
Fredericksburg senior quarterback Hobbs Price had nine carries for 120 yards and three touchdowns, completed 8 of 16 passes for 119 yards and two scores, and had 106 kick return yards and 57 punt return yards.
“We didn’t keep the ball away from Price, especially in our kicking game,” Jones said.
Despite the loss, the coach said he was proud of his players and coaches.
“I can’t say enough about our efforts,” he said. “Fredericksburg is a really good team.”