Bulldawgs go 2-1 at Lake Travis 7 on 7 state qualifying tournament

By TJ Maxwell
Cove Leader-Press

LAKE TRAVIS - The 7 on 7 season is in full swing for the Copperas Cove football team.
The Bulldawgs faced off with Highway 190 neighbor Lampasas for a friendly on Thursday before traveling to Lake Travis on Saturday for the first state qualifying tournament.
The day started off on a positive note but ended with a stir of controversy after the Bulldawgs originally qualified for the semifinals but were replaced by Marble Falls after discussion by officials.
The Bulldawgs finished in a three-way tie for the Pool B winner with Marble Falls and Dripping Springs but the tiebreaker scenario placed the Marble Falls Mustangs in the semis and sent the Bulldawgs home.
With the three teams tied at 2-1, officials decided to eliminate the wins over Willis from the tallies since all three teams defeated Willis and award the team with the most points scored with the final spot. Marble Falls (61 points) edged Dripping Springs (58 pts) and Copperas Cove (52 pts) for the semifinal spot.
The Dawgs began the day with a close win over Marble Falls 33-27 before losing a tough 25-19 battle with Dripping Springs in the second game to set up a must-win in the third contest against the Willis Wildcats.
The Dawgs held a 13-6 lead over Dripping Springs after a touchdown pass from Easton Simpson to Quentin Lewis. The Tigers responded with a quick score by the Tigers knotted the game at 13-all and an interception at the goal line set up another Dripping Springs score for the 19-13 Tiger lead.
A pass from Simpson to Elijah De la Cruz for a score again knotted the game at 19-all but a last second score by the Tigers closed the contest 25-19.
In their final contest of the day, the Bulldawgs outscored Willis 21-7 in the second half to secure the 41-20 win and give themselves a chance at the semifinals and a state qualifying berth to the Texas State 7 on 7 June 28-29 at the Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station.
A pass from Simpson to A.J. Doubleday and extra points to De La Cruz put the Dawgs out front 7-0.
An interception at the goal line by Cove’s Marc Gastelo kept the Dawgs out front.
The Wildcats returned the favor by picking off a deflected pass to set up their own scoring opportunity. 
A missed extra point attempt kept the Dawgs out front by one, 7-6. 
Simpson and Doubleday again connected on a long pass for 13-6 lead after the missed extra-point attempt, but the Wildcats again answered quickly for a 13-all tie with 1:05 left in the first half.
The Dawgs answered in kind with a long touchdown pass from Simpson to Jarin Goffinett with the extra point to Trevor Troy for a 20-13 lead at the break.
The Dawgs increased their lead to 14 with a long pass from Simpson to De La Cruz down the left sideline for the 27-13 score after the extra point toss from Simpson to Goffinett.
The Wildcats executed their final scoring drive to pull back within a score 27-20 before the Dawgs finished the contest with a pair of scoring drives to secure the 41-20 win.
A 30-yard pass from Simpson to Jahmeel Rice quickly moved Cove into scoring position and another pass from Simpson to Rice concluded the scoring drive. The extra point pass from Simpson to Troy made it 34-20 with 7:35 remaining. 
Backup quarterback Chris Lingo added another score to the Cove tally with a pass to Doubleday for the final score to make up for the interception thrown on his first pass attempt on the previous drive. The extra point from Lingo to Doubleday made it a final score of 41-20 after the interception by Cove’s Dimitri Bell halted the Wildcats’ drive.
The Dawgs began this week’s 7 on 7 action with a 31-14 win over Lampasas in a rescheduled contest on Thursday. The junior varsity Gold team also earned a win over Lampasas 28-14 and the JV Blue team edged the Badgers 18-12.
The Cove 7 on 7 team will get back to action for week one of the Centex Passing League on Monday, June 4. The Dawgs will play games against Belton, Cameron Yoe and Temple beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Copperas Cove High School.
The Dawgs will then get their next attempt to qualify for the state 7 on 7 tournament June 8 at the Abilene SQT.
Belton went 3-0 and won pool A to qualify for the semifinals before defeating Marble Falls 52-20 to qualify for the state tournament. Hutto, who won Pool D to earn a trip to the semis with a 3-0 record defeated Pflugerville Hendrickson to earn a state berth.

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