Bulldawgs show bright spots in opener loss to Stony Point

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

Moral victories are not exactly what coaches look for when they step on their respective fields of play. They do, however, look for bright spots they can build on as well as pointing out the mistakes made and how to fix them when suffering a loss.
Copperas Cove athletic director and head football coach Jason Hammett knows there were many miscues made by his Bulldawgs in their season-opening 69-27 loss to the Stony Point Tigers Thursday night at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Round Round, but he also saw a lot of good things as well.
“The running back position was one,” said Hammett. “Craig Brown is a kid that’s been with us for a while and he played a ton of running back as a freshman. Last year as a sophomore we played him at tight end because we had some older running backs, and he did a great job with tight end last year. This year, he knows the scheme a lot. He knows how to play tight end, he can play running back, or he can play fullback. He can do all kinds of things and has really good hands as well. Then there is Malcom Roberts and Bra’Dyn Brooks-Smith. They are really speedy backs.”
Brown, a junior, had several tough runs for first downs made on sheer will and strength as he carried Tiger defenders for extra yards multiple times throughout the contest. Brown finished with 15 carries for 121 yards to lead the Bulldawgs with about half of those yards coming after contact, including a 53-yard run that helped the Dawgs pull within three touchdowns in the third quarter a bad start saw them trailing 34-7.
Seniors Malcom Roberts and Bra’Dyn Brooks-Smith showed shiftiness and speed from the running back position. Roberts had two touchdown runs where bounced his way in from nine and 15 yards, respectively.
Brooks-Smith had some nice runs, including a 10-yard run that set up a one-yard plunge by senior quarterback Shane Richey, but really stood out when he returned a kickoff 82 yards for a score to answer a third-quarter Stony Point score.
Obviously, the two turnovers on special teams, the two interceptions thrown on offense and the breakdowns on defense that allowed some big plays is what coach Hammett is mostly concerned with.
“We gave them four really bad turnovers, a couple weird plays on special teams as well,” said Hammett. “And they had some big plays on offense. They have a couple of really good guys, but we’ve got to be able to pick that stuff up better than what we did.”
Aggressive plays led to some of those mistakes and, although coach Hammett wants his team to be aggressive, they also need to be smart.
“The biggest adversity on the offensive side was self-inflicted wounds,” said Hammett. “We obviously turned the ball over too much. We’ve got to protect it better. 
“Sometimes we want to score and we have some aggressive kids. We obviously want to score every time but, but we need to be better with the ball there. Sometimes punting is not the worst-case scenario. We also need to clean up some of our, our offensive line play.”
Hammett would like to erase the mistakes and build on the positives when they host the Georgetown Eagles this Friday for Military Appreciation Night.
“Stony Point had absolutely two great runners,” he said. They were able to use speed and break some tackles. Obviously, we need to be in a better position to handle that, but Georgetown is going to be a little different animal.”
“It’s got to be about us,” Hammett added. “It’s got to be about how we prepare and how we respond to adversity. You know we could have been in the game a lot a lot more without shooting ourselves in the foot so our goal this week is going to clean up the issues we had on offense, defense and special teams.”

LDVB runs record 
to 13-13 heading 
into tonight’s match 
at Liberty Hill
The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs volleyball team has a 13-13 record through the first 26 games of the season, mostly in tournament action. 
After getting an easy sweep over Waco High at home last Tuesday to move to 12-10 heading into last weekend’s San Marcos Tournament where they went 1-3.
The Lady Dawgs opened the tournament with a tough 2-1 loss to Giddings (22-25, 25-23, 25-16) before downing Cedar Creek (25-8, 25-8) to close out Friday’s action.
On Saturday, the Lady Dawgs returned to action against Denton where they lost 2-0 (25-14, 25-11) before closing out the tournament with a 2-0 loss to Katy Tompkins (25-17, 25-22).
The Lady Dawgs travel to Liberty Hill tonight and travel to Leander to face Glenn on Tuesday before returning home to host McGregor/Cameron to close out the non-district slate. The Lady Dawgs open District 12-6A play at Temple on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Cove XC has solid showing at Belton Invitational
Cove senior Ayden Seymour edged closer to the podium with a seventh-place finish at the Belton Invitational held Friday morning in Belton. His time of 17 minutes, 16.40 seconds led the Bulldawgs to a sixth-place finish with 138 points. Belton won with 35 points, led by overall winner Zachary Dennis (15:45.6). Cove senior Sean Anderson finished 24th overall with a time of 18:21.20 and junior Joshua Caal finished 26th overall with a time of 18:27.70.
Juliana Sanchez (38th overall – 23:06.40), Lilliana Perez (45th – 23:38.50) and Peyton Brewster (46th – 23:42.40) led the varsity girls to an eight-place finish with 229 points. Belton won with 49 points while Harker Heights sophomore Ella Perry took first place (18:51.60).
Cove cross country returns to action this Friday at James B. Wilson Park for the Pro-fit Invitational.

Dawg Tennis wins second-straight and opens District 1-0
After Dawg Tennis brought home their first victory of the season against University on August 20 in a 12-7 win over Waco University, the Dawgs added to the win column with a 10-9 win over temple to open district play on Thursday.
The Lady Dawgs had a clean sweep to give the Bulldawgs a chance and Brayden Smolen earned a win for the boys to seal the deal.
Dawg Tennis travels to Bryan today to face the Vikings in more district competition with a first serve time of 4:30 p.m. The Dawgs then return home to host Killeen on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

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