The Burnet Bulldogs got their first District 14-4A Division I win October 25 with a 35-31 victory over the Liberty Hill Panthers.
The Bulldogs defense came up with a big stop with less than a minute left in the game to seal the win.
Trailing 35-31, the Panthers (2-5 overall, 0-3 district) looked to get great field position thanks to a kickoff return, but a penalty pushed them back deep into their own territory.
Seemingly unfazed, Liberty Hill moved the ball down the field. But penalties again had them heading in the wrong direction and finally into a fourth-and-20 situation.
On that play, a pack of Bulldogs (5-3, 1-2) hounded Liberty Hill quarterback Jacob Cearley and sacked him, locking in Burnet’s win.
The Bulldogs started the game with a 75-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Matthew Tippie topped off the drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Jaxson Denton for a 7-0 lead.
But Liberty Hill returned the favor on it first drive of the game. The Panthers’ Blake Simpson tied the game with a 13-yard touchdown run.
The Bulldogs then looked as if they might run away with the game. Burnet added two touchdowns — a 25-yard pass from Tippie to Brayden McPherson and a 2-yard run by Tippie — to go up 21-7.
With 30 seconds left in the second quarter, the Panthers trimmed the deficit on a Trey Seward 58-yard touchdown run to make it 21-14 at the half.
On the opening drive in the second half, Seward scored on a 35-yard run to tie the game, 21-21. Liberty Hill took a 24-21 lead on its next drive with a field goal.
The two teams seemed to be locked in a tit-for-tat battle as Burnet responded with another Tippie-to-McPherson touchdown pass, giving the Bulldogs a 28-24 lead. But Liberty Hill edged back out in front, 31-28, after a Simpson touchdown run.
On their next drive, the Bulldogs worked their way down to the Liberty Hill 2-yard line, where Blaine Burkhalter ran it in for a touchdown, making it 35-31.
Burnet hosts the Fredericksburg Battlin’ Billies at 7:30 p.m. November 1 at Bulldog Field, 1400 Bulldog Stadium Drive. Fredericksburg enters the game 3-0 in district play.