STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Burnet High School football team’s three-game win streak is on the line with the Bulldogs on the road against Sonora on September 27.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bronco Stadium, 1500 Glasscock Ave. in Sonora.
While the Bulldogs (District 13-3A Division II) have won three at home, they lost their only away game, a 42-6 defeat at Wimberley in the season opener.
Burnet head coach Jerod Rye knows the 2-2 Broncos (District 13-3A Division II) pose a solid test.
“The kids are used to being competitive,” he said. “You know they’re going to be prepared and coached well. They play hard each week.”
Sonora enters this game with losses to Mason and Wall by the same score of 33-0 in weeks three and four after starting the season with victories against Ozona (33-13) and Lamesa (50-0).
Sonora runs the slot-T offense, a run-first scheme that uses misdirection and confusion. The Broncos’ top runner is senior fullback Brock Aschenbeck, who has 767 yards on 80 carries, and senior halfback Wilson Johnson with 103 yards on 34 carries. Junior quarterback Preston Gonzalez has 82 yards on 28 carries and has 4 of 6 completions for 65 yards and one interception.
Rye said Aschenbeck is “their most explosive player” and noted the fullback and Johnson have multiple long runs during the past four weeks.
Rye said it’s another chance for the Bulldogs to defend the slot-T before facing district foes Liberty HIll and Fischer Canyon Lake, who both run it.
Defensively, Aschenbeck and Johnson lead the Broncos. Aschenbeck has 42 tackles, while Johnson has 28.
The Broncos will put seven defenders in the box with the aim of pressuring the quarterback or quickly getting to the ball carrier for a loss of yards. That means the Bulldogs offensive line will face another challenge.
“Can we get them blocked long enough upfront?” Rye asked. “The Wimberley defense (in week one) brought blitzes that we struggled to pick up.”
Junior quarterback Matthew Tippie has 62 of 103 completions for 798 yards and 13 touchdowns with no interceptions. Senior receiver Blaine Burkhalter has 20 catches for 319 yards and four scores, while senior receiver Blayden McPherson has 13 receptions for 216 yards and five touchdowns.
Before the Bulldogs walk onto the field at Bronco Stadium, their first big test of the day is handling a three-hour bus ride.