Gatesville’s victory over Burnet was more than a mere district win. It was a measure of redemption.
Entering the season, no member of the Hornets football team had experienced a win against Burnet. The Bulldogs beat Gatesville in each of the previous three seasons, but in the final opportunity of their high school careers, Gatesville’s 28 seniors finally knocked off their longtime roadblock, extending the program’s storybook start to the season with a 44-19 home win.
“We’ve had our sights on them for a while,” Gatesville quarterback Cole Edmiston said. “They’ve gotten the best of us for the past three years, and it was time for that to end.”
The Hornets dominated the contest, posting 552 total yards of offense while keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.
Fittingly, several seniors had standout showings for Gatesville. Tyler Jaynes caught eight passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, and teammate Matthew Wallace had three catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Connor Watson left his impression with a 71-yard touchdown reception, while Danny Byrd and J.D. Nolte combined for eight catches and 62 yards.
But quarterback Cole Edmiston produced the biggest individual showing of all the seniors. Edmiston completed 22 of 28 passes for 415 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
“I can’t say he surprises me,” Gatesville head coach Kyle Cooper said. “He is a true competitor, as are many of those kids, and he is getting better each week, so that is great.”
Burnet began its winning streak in 2009 with a 38-7 win in the playoffs before also winning the rematch 33-22 the following year. Last season, the Bulldogs won 23-20 at Gatesville.
Edmiston, who played on varsity as a freshman, admits he was playing Friday night’s game with revenge on his mind.
“After playing them for the first three years of high school and having them beat you, as a senior, you really want the last chance you’ll get them,” Edmiston said. “They got us for three years, and they got us more than we got them, but we got them last. That makes it a lot better. It feels good to finally beat that team that has had our number that long.”
Florence’s roller-coaster season
Paul Smith never knows which team he is going to see Friday nights.
It could be the team that lost to a previously winless Salado team. Or it could be the dominant football team that trounced Little-River Academy 40-20 on Friday.
The Buffaloes once again looked like a potential playoff team — even if they have little hope of making it — as they ran over the Bumblebees with 444 yards of total offense, including 201 on the ground.
Florence did give up 282 yards on the ground to Academy, but forced two crucial turnovers in the win. Florence also got a much better game from senior quarterback Kaleb Hardy, who had a hand in 319 of the Buffaloes’ yards and had two passing and two rushing touchdowns. Ninety of Hardy’s 241 passing yards came on a touchdown pass to Jimmy Struble.
By the Numbers
- 9.95 — Average yards per play Salado allowed Troy, losers of four straight, as it racked up 597 total yards on 60 plays — including 590 rushing on 57 carries — in Friday’s 65-37 loss.
- 4 — Fumbles by Lampasas in its 20-13 home loss to Llano on Friday. The quartet of fumbles brings the Badgers’ season total to 17.
- Gatesville (7-0, 2-0 District 8-3A) at Llano (3-4, 4-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday — Gatesville has developed into a team capable of winning in any fashion it desires. Two weeks ago, the Hornets ran all over Lampasas. Last Friday, they exploited Burnet’s pass defense for 415 yards. Expect the Hornets to return to the ground against a Yellow Jackets squad allowing an average of 355 rushing yards per game in district.
- Florence (4-3, 2-2 13-2A, Div. I) at Lago Vista (4-3, 2-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday — The records may be the same, but the real results have not been. Florence has lost key games to both Marlin, 28-7, and Salado, 41-22, while the Vikings have lost key games to district leaders McGregor and Cameron Yoe. In fact, Lago Vista defeated Marlin 41-10.
- Lampasas (1-6, 0-2 8-3A) at Brownwood (4-3, 2-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday — Brownwood’s combination of quarterback Chris Keesee (112 of 141 for 1,048 yards and 11 touchdowns) and receiver Cooper Howey (38 catches for 434 yards and eight touchdowns) will attack Lampasas’ porous pass defense, leaving the unit little room for error on the road.
- Little River-Academy (2-5, 1-3, 13-2A, Div. I) at Salado (1-6, 1-3), 7:30 p.m. Friday — The Eagles had a major setback Friday just a week after breaking into the win column against Florence. Now they have an opportunity to re-right the ship against a Bumblebees team that allowed the Buffaloes a bounce-back 40-20 win Friday.
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Talbot and Alex Byington contributed this report.