Dawgs downed by No. 12 Lake Travis
By TJ MAXWELL
The 'Dawgs exploded out of the gate with a shuffle pass from Caine Garner to Kylan Herrera that resulted in a 75-yard score, but the fireworks belonged to Lake Travis from that point on as the Cavaliers scored 42 unanswered points before a 15-yard touchdown run by Kylan Herrera temporarily halted the onslaught with 8:11 left in the third quarter. The Cavs went on to win 56-13.
Costly penalties stalled several drives. The Dawgs had 10 penalties for 77 yards but several of them were on third down or otherwise killed the drives. Cove had seven punts in the contest.
“I thought the penalties were a little skewed and those things happen,” said Jack Welch, Cove head football coach and athletic director. “I thought we came back out in the second half and we eliminated most of those and you could tell the difference. I thought the biggest thing is I thought our defense shored up some things. We didn't let a lot of balls get behind us. What you've got to realize is this, you're playing a great football team. I think these guys have a shot at a state title.”
The Bulldawgs were virtually even with the Cavaliers in the run game with Cove rushing for 252 yards on 37 attempts and Lake Travis running 34 times for 260 yards.
The difference was in the passing game, where the Cavs outpaced Cove 337 yards to 48 through the air.
Junior quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for four touchdowns and completed 30 for 40 attempts.
“Offensively we shot ourselves in the foot,” said Welch. “I don't think we ever really got stopped. We stopped ourselves with penalties. Our kids are young and they've never been through it before. You can coach it, but until you get out here and do it. This is the youngest and most inexperienced team I've had in a long time.”
The Dawgs had a few bright spots in the contest despite the lopsided 56-13 loss.
One such bright spot was junior running back Kylan Herrera who ran for 123 yards and two scores on the night, including the game-opening touchdown run.
“He's a great running back, Welch said of Herrera. “We've got three really good running backs. When one guy gets tired and you put the other guy in and don't lose a beat, that shows you some confidence in the offense.”
Senior Antonio Lealiiee also got it on the act with 82 yards on 15 carries.
“I think we played good,” said Herrera. “The score didn't really reflect how we played. I think a lot of mistakes on offense really hurt us. We had a lot of penalties. I think if we correct the mistakes, the score would have been different and we could have had a chance to win the game.”
After Herrera's second rushing touchdown in the third period, Lake Travis capped their scoring with and eight-yard touchdown pass from Brewer to Green with 5:57 remaining.
Lake Travis' Josiah Snowden punched in the final score from 20 yards out with 32 seconds left in the third.
The Cavaliers converted a 30-yard field goal to cap a nine-play drive for the first score in the second period after a six-play drive stalled for the Bulldawgs.
A 10-play drive on the Bulldawgs' next possession also resulted in a punt where Lake Travis senior Hudson Fife returned it to the Cove 18 after a block in the back against the Cavaliers.
A 71-yard run for a score by Lake Travis senior Abe Willows pushed the Cavs lead to 28-7 and a pass from junior quarterback Charlie Brewer to Maleek Barkley for a 28-yard touchdown closed out the first half with Lake Travis on top 35-7.
After the Herrera scamper and score to begin the game, Lake Travis responded with an 8-play, 51-yard scoring drive to tie the game at 7-all, capped by a 16-yard pitch and catch from Brewer to Cade Green.
After drives resulting in punts from both squads, the Cavaliers put together back-to-back scoring drives to take a 17-7 lead. They capitalized on a nine-play scoring drive with a touchdown throw from Charlie Brewer to his brother Cade Brewer for a 20-yard score.
Sophomore kicker Cameron Dicker added a 44-yard field goal after a five-play drive that began at the Cavs' 45-yard line.
Cove junior quarterback Caine Garner knows, despite this being just his second start on varsity, he has to do better.
“We need to eliminate our mistakes,” he said. “We shot ourselves in the foot early. We did good on the first drive, we just need to continue to do that throughout the game and play the whole 48 minutes.”
The Bulldawgs will get back to their brutal non-district schedule against Round Rock next Friday and they will need to eliminate the miscues to have a chance.
“We've got to play better,” said Welch. “I want to eliminate the penalties, mistakes and play solid football. If we can start playing solid football without penalties and mistakes, I think we're going to be a complete team.”