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Bulldogs headed for Area round against Ganado

The Thorndale Bulldogs are moving on to the Area round of the football playoffs. The football team traveled out to Hutto on Thursday to take on the Johnson City Eagles in the Bi-District round of the playoffs. The Bulldogs were victorious, winning 41-30. 

Thorndale received the ball to start the game, and they marched down the field and scored on a 4-yard touchdown run by Coy Stutts (4) for an early 7-0 lead. The defense answered and forced Johnson City to punt, and got great field position after a bobbled snap by the punter. The offense responded with a 4-yard touchdown run by Stutts to increase their lead to 14-0. The Bulldog defense allowed a 16-yard run, and the first quarter ended with Thorndale leading 14-0.

The Eagles scored first in the second quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run for a score of 14-7. Thorndale drove down the field with a 15-yard catch by Raymond Avalos (3), and they faced a fourth and 4, then converted it with an incredible 15-yard touchdown catch by Jayden Clawson (1) for a 21-7 lead. The defense bent a little bit and gave up a 16-yard run, then a 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 21-14. The Bulldog could not respond on offense and was forced to punt. Johnson City struck quickly with a 43-yard pass completion. The Eagles would complete a 33-yard field goal to make the score 21-17 going into halftime.

Thorndale kicked off to start the half, and the Bulldog defense allowed a 47-yard run, which was soon followed with a 5-yard touchdown run to cut the Thorndale lead to 24-21. 

“The big thing we stressed at halftime also is be physical,” Coach John Kovar said. “It’s a long game right here. They took that lead, and we were like, ok we can score too. They really hadn’t stopped us, we stopped ourselves a couple times.” 

Thorndale responded on offense with a 35-yard catch by Clawson to put them in the redzone. Unfortunately, they were pushed back to the 30-yard line on a bad snap that would later be followed with an interception by Stutts. The Bulldog defense held strong and forced a three and out for Johnson City and the offense drove down the field and scored on an impressive 37-yard touchdown run by Stutts for a 28-24 lead. The defense remained tough and forced another Johnson City three and out. Thorndale marched down the field and scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Stutts to Stiles Patin (6) to make it a 35-24 lead at the end of the third quarter.

“The last few games, we jumped out on them and we won big,” Kovar said. “But this time, they came back and hit us in the mouth and battled and good job by them. I went in there and told them at halftime; I said guys we’re going to go through these playoffs, you’re going to have some adversity, the other team’s going to punch you back, so what are we going to do in the second half. And the kids responded. I thought the defense played way more physical in the second half. They did a good job there and made plays. You get the opportunity, make plays, like Stiles made a great play in the endzone, you get your number called, go make a play.” 

The Eagles struck first in the fourth quarter with a 28-yard touchdown catch for a score of 35-30 after a failed two-point attempt. The Bulldog offense was faced with a fourth and 1, went for the fourth down conversion and was successful. They would move down the field some more with a 15-yard run by Stutts. Thorndale faced a fourth and 7, went for the fourth down attempt again, but was unsuccessful this time. Johnson City was putting together a good drive but the Thorndale held strong and forced Johnson City into a fourth and 8. They went for it and the Bulldogs stopped them for a turnover on downs. Thorndale would add on to their lead with a 4-yard touchdown run by Stutts for a score of 41-30. The Bulldog defense then sealed the game with an interception by Clawson. The Bulldogs would drain the clock and go on to win 41-30. Jayden Clawson had a fantastic game. Along with an interception on defense, he had four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Coy Stutts played like a man possessed, throwing for 140 yards and two touchdowns, along with rushing for 182 yards and four touchdowns.

“He just took what the defense gave him,” Kovar said. “And we called some stuff to where it gave him some read (option) type stuff to where he could take it or he could give it off there too. A lot of times, he called his own number which is also a good idea.” 

Up next, they will take on the Ganado Indians in the area round of the playoffs. The game will be on Thursday, Nov. 17, at Bastrop Memorial Stadium and kickoff is set for 7 p.m.


The Cameron Herald

The Cameron Herald
P.O. Box 1230
Cameron, Texas 76520

Phone: 254-697-6671
Fax: 254-697-4902