Bulldawgs struggle to find rhythm in 7-on-7 League opener

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

The Copperas Cove Bulldawgs kicked off their annual Copperas Cove 7-on-7 League (formerly CenTex Passing League) Monday at the Copperas Cove High School practice fields where they went 0-3 against Belton, Temple and Cameron Yoe but won the lineman’s challenge.
Due to a coaching change and subsequent cancellation of spring practice, the Bulldawgs have only had a few opportunities to hone their skills and create continuity in the passing game before Monday’s league opener.
The Bulldawgs quickly found themselves in a 26-0 hole after Belton quarterback Connor Carrothers connected on a pair of touchdowns and the Tiger defense did its part with a pick six for a 20-0 lead.
Carrothers added another score on a fade to Denver Holman to make it a 26-0 
The Bulldawgs broke the shutout when quarterback Chris Lingo found Jahmeel Rice streaking down the left side for a long touchdown to make it 27-8 after the two-point try was successful between Lingo and running back Elijah De La Cruz.
The Tigers closed out their scoring with a touchdown from Carrothers to Anthony Fairbanks for the 33-8 win.
In game two against Temple, the Bulldawgs held tough, answering a Wildcat touchdown with one of their own with a pass from Lingo to a streaking De La Cruz for the 6-6 score.
Temple answered right back with a pair of quick passes to jump out to an 18-6 lead.
Cove answered with a touchdown from Lingo to Quenton Lewis for an 18-12 contest before another quick touchdown drive gave Temple a commanding 24-12 lead.
A pick six and extra point attempt by the Wildcats closed out the Temple scoring for a 31-12 lead.
The Dawgs then closed out their scoring with a touchdown pass from Lingo to Doubleday for the 31-18 final.
The Bulldawgs closed out the day with a 25-6 loss to Cameron Yoe.
Cove again dug themselves a huge hole after four unanswered scores by the Yoemen. Cameron found three different receivers for the four scores to take a 25-0 lead.
An interception by linebacker Darrell Quichocho gave the Dawgs a spark and a touchdown pass from quarterback Rusty Cochran to Lewis broke the shutout for a 25-6 final.
The junior varsity Gold team went 2-1 in the tournament.
They defeated Cameron Yoe 30-7 in game one before getting that score flipped in game two with a 36-7 loss to Temple. The Dawgs then scraped by Belton 22-21 to close out the day.
The Cove JV Blue also won their lone contest against the Belton Tigers in a 33-25 affair.
In the lineman’s challenge, the Copperas Cove defensive line won first place and the offensive line tied Belton for second place.
The Bulldawgs will get more opportunities to hone their skills this weekend when they split the roster to compete in two different tourneys. Half of the team will travel to Abilene for their second state qualifying tournament of the year. The other half will travel to Belton for Day one of the Lone Star Shoot Out to be held Friday and Saturday at Belton High School.
The Dawgs will play in Pool D at the Abilene SQT. Cove will compete with Abilene Cooper, Midland Christian and Lubbock Trinity Christian. They will play at McMurry University. The top two teams qualify for the Texas 7-On-7 Division I State Tournament to be played on June 29-30 in College Station. 
Pool A featuring Abilene, Lubbock Coronado, Killeen Harker Heights and Fort Worth All Saints will be played at Hardin-Simmons University.
Pool B featuring San Angelo Central, Amarillo, Killeen Ellison and Wolfforth Frenship will be played at Shotwell Stadium.
Pool C to be played at the Fieldhouse will feature Abilene Wylie, Temple and Odessa Permian
Pool play will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday in Belton, with each team playing five pool games and a crossover game. Each team will then play a minimum of two games on Saturday, with the first game starting at 9 a.m.
Copperas Cove will be in Pool A along with Belton, Round Rock Stony Point, Kyle Lehman, Austin McCallum and Elgin. 
Pool B will consist of Belton 2, Austin Anderson, Killeen Ellison, China Spring, Hutto, and Salado while Pool C will feature Temple, Killeen Shoemaker, Lake Travis, Georgetown, Little River-Academy, and Lorena.
The Dawgs then return to league action Monday night also in Belton beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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