Dawgs lose OT thriller, 49-46
By STEVE MCWHORTER
The Copperas Cove Bulldawgs traveled to Bryan to open district play against the Vikings. The Bulldawgs played an exciting game, possibly their best of the year so far, and came up just short in overtime to the Bryan Vikings, losing 49-46.
Coach Johnson reflected on Friday’s game, saying, “I’m super proud of our kids and their fight tonight. We made a switch of Offensive Coordinators last week, and I promoted our Quarterbacks Coach to OC…and it was a total coaching and team effort tonight. Obviously it showed with 46 points, but it wasn’t enough. A reporter asked me the other night how many points we’d have to score to win, and I told him 31, and it wasn’t quite enough.”
The Bulldawgs received the kick to start the game. On the second play of the game, the Vikings intercepted the ball and ran it back to the Copperas Cove 20-yard line.
The Bryan Vikings required only three plays to score a touchdown, quickly going up 7-0.
Copperas Cove’s next drive was better than the first. The Bulldawgs leaned on their running game to move the ball consistently downfield. They quickly got two first downs on runs by the Quarterback Micah Casson, followed by a 10-yard pass for another first down to Arthur Miller.
The 13-play drive, which included nine rushing plays, was capped off by a 23-yard touchdown from Casson to Trishstin Glass. Luna’s extra point brought the score to 7-7.
The 1st quarter would end with the score 7-7.
On the Vikings’ drive, Cove almost stopped them at midfield but the Vikings converted a 4th and 1 play. Bryan managed to score on a 23-yard touchdown pass, bringing the score to 14-7.
Copperas Cove began the next drive with two long rushing plays by Malik Cuthbert totaling 19 yards. Casson then threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Miller, bringing the score to 14-14.
The ensuing kickoff resulted in a touchback for the Bryan Vikings, the worst starting field position of the night. But during the first play from scrimmage the running back ran for a 75-yard touchdown.
The Copperas Cove Bulldawgs, now down 21-14, started their next drive from their own 37-yard line.
Malik Cuthbert took the handoff on the first play from scrimmage and shook off a couple of tacklers and ran the ball for a 63-yard touchdown. Coach Johnson called for a 2-point conversion and Cuthbert successfully ran into the end zone. Copperas Cove had their first lead of the night, 21-22.
The Bryan Vikings muffed the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by Copperas Cove’s Darius Milo at the Bryan 20-yard line. Copperas Cove scored on the next play with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Casson to Demetrius Pearce. Cove now led 21-29.
The sequence of drives resulted in three touchdowns during three plays from scrimmage.
Bryan started the next drive at their own 43-yard line. They marched the ball down the field and threatened to score inside the Cove 5-yard line. The quarterback fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Anthony Jackson, giving Cove the ball and a chance to extend their leave.
The Bulldawg drive, aided by three pass interference calls by the Vikings, stalled out at midfield and resulted in the first punt of the night by either team with only 41 seconds left in the second quarter. Bryan was unable to score during the remaining time and Cove went into halftime up 29-21.
During the first half Casson was 8 of 12 for 100 yards passing plus 30 yards rushing and Cuthbert rushed 9 times for 98 yards.
Copperas Cove kicked to Bryan to begin the second half. Bryan moved the ball down the field efficiently, scoring in five plays. The touchdown was made on a 38-yard pass. The two-point conversion was successful, tying the score at 29-29.
The Bulldawgs began their first drive of the second half on their own 32-yard line. Disaster was averted on a low snap when Casson was able to pick the ball up and throw it away. Casson hooked up with Miller for three long passes, moving down to the 27-yard line including and impressive play where Casson scrambled and shook off three rushers to complete a 15-yard pass. The Bulldawgs went for it on 4th and 13 from their own 29 which resulted in an interception and touchback.
The Vikings began their next drive with runs by Nutall. The Vikings’ two most effective plays throughout the night were runs by Nutall and passes to the flat. The Vikings’ drive stalled out at the Cove 38-yard line resulting in a punt which resulted in a touchback.
The Bulldawgs began the next drive with 2:43 left in the third quarter. The drive threatened to stall when Cuthbert ran for a 34-yard gain, moving the ball to Vikings territory. Two back-to=back rushes for first downs moved Cove to the 1-yard line but the next play moved them back to the 4-yard line. The drive was capped off with a Casson throw to Miller for a 4-yard touchdown giving Copperas Cove the lead with 29-36.
The Vikings scored on a 43-yard touchdown pass on their next drive. The extra point tied the game at 36-36.
With another short kick the Bulldawgs’ offense began on the 35-yard line. Casson spread the ball to several receivers. The drive was capped off with a touchdown catch by Daniel Izquierdo. With the extra point the Bulldawgs went ahead 36-43 with 6:30 remaining in the game.
The Vikings scored on a 53-yard touchdown pass tying the game at 43-43 with 5:30 remaining.
Copperas Cove started on their 30-yard line. After an initial 6-yard gain by Cuthbert the drive stalled out and Cove had to punt on their first three and out of the night. The punt was fair caught at the Bryan 30-yard line.
Xavier Taclibon intercepted the ball giving the Bulldawgs the ball back with 1:19 left in the game from their own 34-yard line.
Cuthbert ran for 8 yards on the first play, followed by an incomplete, bringing up 3rd and 2 on the 42yard line. Another incomplete pass brought up 4th and 2, forcing the Bulldawgs to punt with :43 seconds left in the game tied up 43-43.
Bryan started the drive from their 25-yard line. The offense moved the ball to midfield with :06 left in regulation play. A long pass was well-defensed by Gabriel Rodriguez forcing overtime.
Copperas Cove began overtime from the 25-yard line. A pass to Izquierdo move the ball to the 9-yard line. A rush by Cuthbert to the 5-yard line on second down moved the Bulldawgs closer. Another Cuthbert rush brough up 3rd and goal from the three. An incomplete pass brought up 4th down so Coach Johnson settled for a field goal by Luna. Copperas Cove moved ahead 43-46.
The Vikings started with a 5-yard pass followed by a 15-yard rush to move to the 5-yard line. The next play resulted in a 5-yard rush and the Vikings won the game 49-46.
Coach Johnson talked about what the team is going to work on before the next game, homecoming at Bulldawg Stadium.
“I think we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. What we do need to focus on is tackling better and stopping the slant game and short passing game.”