EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
If the Burnet Bulldogs were looking to make a statement, they made a loud one September 13 with a 54-31 win over the Lockhart Lions.
The Bulldogs (2-1, District 14-4A Division I) poured it on in the first half, building up a 40-17 lead going into the break. It wasn’t just the number of points they put up in the first half but how decisively they did it.
On its seven first-half possessions, Burnet scored six touchdowns. Quarterback Matthew Tippie threw five first-half touchdown passes to three different receivers. He connected with Blaine Burkhalter for two, Bradyn McPherson for two, and Luke Kiser for one.
Running back Marcus Escamilla rumbled into the end zone for the other.
Burnet edged out to a 19-10 lead with about 11:04 in the second quarter. Lockhart still had a flicker of hope, but Burnet might have shattered it on its next drive.
The Bulldogs moved down to Lockhart’s 22-yard line, but found themselves in a fourth-and-20 situation. It seemed almost insurmountable, but earlier in the game, the Bulldogs scored in a fourth-down situation.
Tippie took the snap and hit Kiser for a 22-yard touchdown strike. With the point-after, Burnet jumped out to a 26-10 lead with 8:33 in the second quarter.
Lockhart entered the contest known for its strong offense, but they just couldn’t muster much in the first half. On the next drive, Lockhart managed to get out to its own 40-yard line before punting.
But the snap sailed over the punter’s head. After a few more mishaps, Lockhart finally got control of the ball, but it was on its own 5-yard line.
The Bulldogs didn’t let the great field position go to waste. Escamilla powered through into the end zone on the second play of the short drive. With the point-after attempt, Burnet was up 33-10.
Lockhart responded on its next drive. The Lions worked down to the Burnet 28-yard line. Then, the Garcias — Jordan and Noah — used their legs to push the ball down to the 3-yard line on several runs. With 2:03 left on the clock in the second quarter, Jordan Garcia capped the drive with a touchdown run.
It looked like Lockhart might make it interesting. On the ensuing kickoff, they pinned Burnet back on its own 18-yard line.
But the Bulldogs had other plans.
Burnet went on an 82-yard scoring drive. Tippie hit Kiser on a slant across the middle for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds left in the second. The Bulldogs headed into the half leading 40-17.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Burnet’s offense ate up about six minutes off the clock. Though they didn’t score, the Bulldogs’ time-consuming drive certainly painted the Lions in a tough corner.
Burnet added two more touchdowns to go up 54-17 before Lockhart scored again. Eventually, the Lions added 14 more points, but after Burnet’s explosive first half, they just couldn’t catch up.
It’s Burnet’s homecoming on Friday, September 20, when it hosts Manor New Tech at Bulldog Field, 1400 Bulldog Stadium Drive. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Manor New Tech (1-2) is coming off a 48-6 loss to Austin Crockett.