Bulldawgs hope to close out rough week with win Friday night
By TJ MAXWELL
The Copperas Cove Bulldawgs football team opens district play tonight against longtime rival Belton for homecoming at Bulldawg Stadium.
The Bulldawgs (0-3) are looking for their first win of the season against a Tiger team that is coming off consecutive losses of their own.
A win for the Bulldawgs would put a bright spot on what has otherwise been a dark week for Copperas Cove athletics with less than stellar showings in cross country, tennis, and volleyball.
On paper, tonight’s matchup looks pretty even with the Bulldawgs’ offense averaging 361.7 yards of total offense per game compared to the Tigers’ 243 yards of offense. However, the Cove defense is giving up 518.4 yards and 58 points per contest compared to Belton’s defense allowing just 292.3 total yards and 27.67 points per game.
Cove’s strength is in their running game which averages 238 yards and 3.67 scores per contest for third in district and that should bode well for the Dawgs as the Tigers give up 169.3 yards to opposing running backs.
The Tigers have two of the district’s top four receivers with Morgan taking the top spot with 16 catches for 212 yards and two scores with Henry following in fourth with nine catches for 126 yards and two scores. Sophomore quarterback Ty Brown is fifth in district with 37 of 67 passing for 427 yards with four scores and four interceptions while Cove senior Shane Richey is sixth with 26 for 59 passing for 377 yards with 1 touchdown and two interceptions.
Cove sophomore Demetrius Pearce sits in eighth place for receivers with eight catches for 82 yards.
Cove junior Craig Brown has 51 carries for 351 yards and one score for third in district while senior Malcom Roberts rounds out the top 10 with 254 yards and six touchdowns on 26 carries.
Conversely, the Bulldawgs have given up some big plays both through the air and on the ground and the Tigers have shown that big play ability with long passing touchdowns to sophomore Angel Guerrero, senior Seth Morgan and senior Bryan “Itty” Henry and long rushing touchdown by junior Slade Leblanc and senior Javier Luna.
The Bulldawgs’ offense is second in scoring with 31.1 points per game behind Harker Heights’ whopping 56.3 points per outing.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight at Bulldawg Stadium.
The Bulldawgs cross country team started off the week with a pair of 12th-place finishes at the Ellison Eagle Cross Country Invitational at Stillhouse Hollow Lake’s Dana Peak Park on Friday.
On the boys’ side, senior Ayden Seymour had a 16th-place finish and time of 16:49 but another Bulldawg didn’t cross the finish line until 90th place where Jeremiah Calderon finished with a time of 19:32.9.
The boys finished with 333 points with Round Rock Westwood (85) and Round Rock Stony Point (89) taking the top two spots. 12-6A rivals Belton finished fourth with 113, Ellison finished sixth with 142 points, Temple finished seventh with 173 points and Harker Heights finished 10th with 247 points.
Juliana Sanchez led the Cove girls with a 51st finish and time of 23:09.2 with Liliana Perez finishing next at 64th with a time of 23:47.9.
The girls finished with 323 points with Belton (69) and Harker Heights (87) taking the top two spots. Temple (6th - 156), Ellison (7th – 158), and Shoemaker (10th – 287) rounded out the 12-6A teams results.
The Dawg Tennis team also suffered a tough loss to Belton in am 18-0 sweep last week and battled it out against Shoemaker on Tuesday (results not known as of press time). Dawg Tennis is back in action Tuesday at Harker Heights with a 4:30 start time.
The Lady Dawgs volleyball team were on top of the world on Friday with a 3-0 sweep of Harker Heights, but fell down to earth on Tuesday when Ellison returned the favor with a 3-0 sweep over the Lady Dawgs in a closely contested battle.
The Lady Eagles won 26-24, 25-21, 33-31 despite Copperas Cove senior Kyra Gaston notching another double-double with 15 kills on 25 attempts (.520 hitting percentage) and 12 blocks. Gaston accounted for nearly half of her team’s 25 kills in the loss and more than half of the Lady Dawgs’ 21 blocks.
The Lady Dawgs struggled defensively with 50 dig errors and added six service errors.
Senior Jiya Edwards and Jamesia Moody added eight kills each. Moody also followed Gaston with seven blocks. Junior Jakhi Smith accounted for all 35 Cove assists.
The Ellison win put Cove in fourth place with Belton (4-0), Bryan (4-0) and Ellison (3-1) holding the top three spots.
Cove can get one of those spots back when they return to action in the early game today against first place Belton at Bulldawg Gymnasium. First serve is set for 5:30 p.m.