Bulldogs fall to Hearne, but still headed to playoffs after week off
The Thorndale Bulldogs (6-3, 4-2) are headed to the Class 2A Division I playoffs and have an open week to get prepared.
Thorndale fell 42-18 on the road at Hearne on Friday night, the last scheduled District 12-2A for the team. Despite that loss, the Bulldogs have set themselves up to make the postseason.
The determination of whether it will be as the league’s third or fourth place representative will be decided after the rest of the league games are played out this week.
Thorndale head coach John Kovar said that his team will play their first round opponent, whoever it is, on Thursday, Nov. 12 at Tiger Field in Rockdale. The Bulldogs will face either Normangee or Leon.
In the loss to the Eagles, the Bulldogs garnered 279 yards of total offense against the Eagles, with 97 on the ground and 182 in the air.
Hearne (8-0, 5-0) tallied 391 yards of offense on the night, with 212 rushing and 179 passing.
The two teams battled it out in a scoreless first quarter. Hearne got on the board first in the air with 4:21 left in the second quarter on a passing play and then an Eagle defender snagged a Thorndale pass and returned it for a score. Hearne led 13-0 with 4:13 left in the half.
The Bulldogs cut that to 13-6 when Cayden Nicholson snagged a seven yard touchdown pass from Coy Stutts with 2:22 left.
Thorndale then grabbed the ensuing onsides kick to set up the next score.
Stutts found Branson McCoy for a 20 yards score with 1:16 left in the quarter to make it a 13-12 ball game
Hearne made quick work of the clock and scored as time clicked zero on another passing play. The two-point run put the Eagles up 21-12 at the half.
Hearne put up two more scores in the third quarter, one in the air and another on the ground, taking a 35-12 lead with 1:08 left in the frame.
Thorndale put another score on the board with 18 seconds. Stutts and McCoy connected for a 67 yard touchdown, cutting the lead to 35-18.
The Eagles put up one more passing score early in the fourth to make it a 42-18 advantage.
Mason Lindig was the Bulldogs’ top rusher on the night with 63 yards on 15 carries. JD Alcalar added 10 rushes for 22 yards and Raymond Avalos added two carries for 17.
Stutts completed eight of his 18 pass attempts for 182 yards. McCoy’s three receptions for 124 yards were the best on the team that night. Nicholson added three receptions for 49 yards and Lindig had two for nine.
For Hearne, quarterback Micah Smith ran the ball 15 times for 127 yards and also completed 11 of his 23 passes for 179 yards.
Jabari Dunn grabbed six passes for 144 yards to be the Eagles’ top receiver
On defense for Thorndale, Alcalar led the effort with 13 stops, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Jake Ivy made nine tackles, including two for loss and he also forced a fumble.
Brenton Wilhite made five tackles in the game, with Riggs Schneider, Stryker Leschber and Cain Brymer making four stops each.
Stutts, Chance Betak and Hayden Kylberg were all in on three stops. Stutts also caused a fumble, Betak had two pass deflections and Kylberg had two quarterback pressures
Miguel Reyes was in on two stops, with Dawson Gilbreath and Hunger Thigpen adding one apiece.