Bulldawgs fall to Eagles 63-39 despite improved play
By TJ MAXWELL
The Copperas Cove Bulldawgs gave the Georgetown Eagles a run for their money in the first and third quarters of last night’s non-district battle but it was lopsided second and fourth quarters that did the Dawgs in Friday night at Bulldawg Stadium in the second of three non-district tilts before the games that really count begin on Sept. 24.
The Dawgs went score for score with the Eagles in the first period and took the edge in the third quarter with three scores to twice pull within a field goal of the Eagles at 35-33 and 42-39, before three late Georgetown scores sealed the deal in the Eagles’ 63-39 win over the Bulldawgs.
“They stepped up in a lot of ways,” Copperas Cove head football coach and athletic director Jason Hammett said after the loss. “I did tell the team we're not into moral victories, but I do think we took a step forward with controlling our emotions. We were unacceptable in terms of wild emotions last week. We made some adjustments on that. We talked a lot about it and we put pressure on them in practice. I'm proud of the team on that part obviously. We need to get better on the field and there's plenty of things in all three phases to get better at.”
Trailing 35-19 entering the third quarter, the Bulldawgs’ defense force a punt of the Eagles’ first possession and the offense really began to find their groove with a screen pass from senor quarterback Shane Richey to junior running back Craig Brown for 50 yards to the Eagles’ six-yard line and senior Malcom Roberts finished the drive with a six-yard touchdown run for a 35-27 score with 8:37 left in the third after a two-point run by Roberts.
The Bulldawgs exacted a little revenge with an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff as payback for one executed by Georgetown in the second quarter when junior Kendric Steward pooch kicked and junior Dayne Holden recovered to give the Bulldawgs new life at the Georgetown 38. Seven plays and a defensive pass interference call later, senior Bra’Dyn Brooks-Smith ran it in from 23 yards out to pull within two, 35-33 with 5:04 left in the quarter.
Another pooch attempt went out of bounds and again gave the Eagles a short field and they took advantage. Runs by sophomore Andrew Petter and senior Devin Ross, along with a 17-yard pass from senior quarterback Darson Herman to senior tight end Tyler Hawkins and a 20-yard run by Herman, set up a one-yard scoring run by Herman to push the Eagles’ lead to nine, 42-33 with 3:25 left.
The Bulldawgs again pulled within a field goal, 42-39, on an 11-yard touchdown run by Roberts to cap a five-play drive after the missed conversion attempt. A 39-yard run by Roberts, along with runs by Brooks-Smith and Craig set up the score.
The Eagles again had an answer as passes from Herman to junior Drayden Dickmann, along with runs by Herman and Ross moved the Eagles to the Dawgs’ 35 before senior Caylen David-Mosee escaped for a 35-yard touchdown run and 49-39 lead as time wound down in the third quarter.
A huge stop by Georgetown on 4th and 2 from the Eagles’ 48 kept the momentum on the side of the Eagles as Ross punches it in from 13 yards out to finish a six-play drive that began near midfield.
The Eagles capitalized on another Cove mistake for their final score when pooch kick by senior Carson Sauseda dropped near the sideline and the Dawgs watched it bounce while the Eagles’ Brenden Broad wrangled the free ball at the Bulldawgs 25. Three plays later, backup junior quarterback Tucker Griffin punched it in from a yard out for the 63-39 final score.
The Eagles finished with 539 total yards on 59 plays with 241 yards coming on 14 for 20 passing and 298 yards rushing on 39 attempts. The Eagles also had an edge in third-down conversions with 7 for 10 while the Bulldawgs were 3 for 11.
Herman finished 14 for 20 for 241 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Dickmann was the recipient of two scores on four catches for 109 yards. Junior Marquis Dominguez had five catches for 77 yards and a score to lead the Eagles’ receivers.
Ross finished with 113 yards on 14 carries and two scores to lead the running backs while Herman added a score on eight carries for 93 yards, David-Mosee had five carries for 55 yards and a score, Petter had eight carries for 38 yards and a score and Griffin had one tote for one yard and one score.
Senior Bryson Hanks led the Eagles’ defense with seven tackles, including three tackles for losses and senior AJ Bradshaw added seven tackles.
The Bulldawgs finished with 368 yards on 57 plays with 294 yards coming on the ground on 48 carries with 74 yards coming through the air on3 for 9 passes.
Richey was 3 for 9 for 74 yards passing with Brown catching one for 50, freshman Trishstin Glass catching one for 13 and senior Wyatt Nelson catching one for 11 yards.
“I think tonight we executed the game plan perfectly,” said Richey. We had some hiccups everything has hiccups. I have to give all the credit to the team, the linemen, the running backs, the wide receivers. They blocked amazingly so I could make some runs. We put some points on the board ,but we just need to come back next weekend prepared.”
Three Bulldawg running backs combined for five scores with Brooks-Smith scoring twice on eight carries for 86 yards, Roberts scoring twice on nine carries for 69 yards and Brown scoring once on 16 carries for 98 yards.
The Bulldawgs switched from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 for this game mostly out of necessity and junior linebacker Ja’Coby Frazier stood out, leading the Cove defenders with 8.5 tackles (1 TFL), a sack, and an interception while junior Kevin Pontius added seven tackles (1 TFL).
“It was for two reasons,” said Hammett. It's a scheme idea to help stop some stuff and also it's a personnel problem. We've lost a couple defensive linemen to injury, so we're very thin on defensive lineman. So, obviously putting three out there's a little easier than putting four and then the scheme matches up against Georgetown with that 3-4.”
Trailing by just two, 21-19, after 12 minutes of action, the Bulldawgs quickly found themselves in a 16-point hole when the Eagles took advantage of good field position after a turnover on downs by Cove and converted on a one-play touchdown drive on a 50-yard pass from Herman to Dickmann to give the Eagles a 28-18 lead with 6:42 left in the second quarter.
Cove’s Frazier prevented a score on the Eagles’ prior possession when he picked off the pass of Herman inside the Dawgs’ 10.
“We watched film over and over and I read the quarterback,” said Frazier. I thought it was my time to make the play and I wanted to help my team out.
“We’re going to watch the film, see the mistakes we made, and hopefully get back on the field, prepare for next game, and do great things.”
Dickmann then made another big play for the Eagles when he jumped on the onside kick by Sauceda at the Bulldawgs’ 49 yard-line to set up another big pass play from Herman to Dickmann on a flea-flicker that went for 36 yards. Three plays later, Herman and Dickmann connected for their second touchdown pass of the quarter on a 13-yard score to make it 35-19 with 5:00 left in the first half after the Sauceda extra point.
The Eagles struck first on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Herman to Dominguez with 7:17 left in the first quarter to cap an eight-play drive after the Bulldawgs were forced to punt on their first possession.
The Bulldawgs responded with a five-play drive that culminated in a 32-yard touchdown run by Brooks-Smith and the extra point by Steward with just under six m minutes remaining in the first.
A 73-yard kickoff return by Dickmann then set up the Eagles at the Bulldawgs two-yard line before Petter punched it in for a 14-7 Eagles’ lead with 5:23 left in the first.
The Bulldawgs answered even quicker as Roberts returned the ensuing kickoff for 83 yards and a touchdown to bring the Bulldawgs within one, 14-13, after the failed extra point attempt.
A pooch kick by Newberry that gave the Eagles the ball at their own 36-yard line and a 62-yard scramble by Herman again quickly put the Eagles in scoring position and Ross sealed the deal from inside the five for a 21-13 score with under four minutes left in the quarter.
A couple 15-yard penalties by the Eagles help the Bulldawgs move into Georgetown’s end of the field before Brown capped the drive with a 33-yard touchdown run with 2:56 left.