Elks romp in season-opener
When something’s new you want to use it as much as you can.
And that’s exactly what the Burleson Elks did with the new scoreboard at Burleson ISD Stadium Friday night, scoring on all eight of their possessions.
The Elks did not, however allow visiting Kansas City Schlagle to participate in breaking it in as Burleson dominated all phases of the contest in a 52-0 victory to open the season.
It’s the fifth consecutive season in which the Elks have won their season opener. It’s also the fifth straight home opener they’ve won.
“We take a lot of pride in winning on our own field and in winning our season opener,” said linebacker JC Mueller, who led the defense with a fumble recovery and consistent quarterback pressure alongside defensive end Garrett Lake. The two also combined for a sack.
The Elks got three touchdown passes from quarterback Jacob Amador, who finished the evening 14-for-19 for 126 yards. His completions went to nine receivers, including touchdown throws of 7 yards to Aden Anderson, 10 yards to Jarrett Austin, and 11 yards to Jaden Dotson.
Burleson also rushed for 252 yards, led by Caleb Lewis with eight carries for 79 yards and a pair of touchdowns of 3 and 27 yards. Austin added a 30-yard rushing touchdown among his four carries for 52 yards, Amador gained 52 yards on four carries, and Brandon Cardoso moved from fullback to running back as he rushed for 69 yards and a 3-yard touchdown, all in the second half.
“That running game makes everything a lot smoother,” Amador said. “It’s nice to know I have that cushion.
“Our offensive line did a great job of protecting me. They gave me a lot of time to throw the ball.”
Defensively, the Elks held the Stallions to 61 total yards, including just 15 passing. They forced five turnovers. Along with Mueller’s fumble recovery, defensive end Jacob
Hardie and linebacker Carson Hallack pounced on a loose ball, while safeties Jared Johnson and Jackson Shaha each had an interception.
Ironically, it was Schlagle who appeared to have the early advantage after opening the game by recovering an onside kick at the Burleson 45-yard line. They reached the Elks 41 before back-to-back penalties cost them 20 yards and they subsequently gave up the ball on fourth-and-14 with a pass of negative 3 -yards at their own 48.
After the Elks took a 7-0 lead on Lewis’ 3-yard touchdown, Schlagle had its deepest drive of the night. Aided by a personal foul penalty on the Elks, the Stallions started at their own 49 and reached the Burleson 25, facing a fourth-and-2.
It looked as though the Stallions had a first down, but a fumble squelched the opportunity as Hardie fell on it at the Elks 23. From there, Amador drove them downfield in seven plays, connecting with Dotson for 11 yards and a 14-0 advantage.
“It was huge. A team like Schlagle, they’re going to play off of emotion,” Burleson coach Gary McElroy said of the fumble recovery.
McElroy said his team had no film of Schlagle to study before the game, so until they figured out what they were up against, they had to make adjustments within the contest.
“We told them all week long you’re going to have to communicate with us, and they handled things well,” McElroy said. “Once the defensive staff was able to tell what their offense was made of, we made some great adjustments and played extremely well. Our offense held up well until we figured out what they were going to put up against us.”
Nine times the Elks defense held the Schlagle offense to negative yardage on a play, and three other times they held them to zero yards. Meanwhile, the Burleson offense had 16 of their 48 plays go for 10 or more yards.
“I could see our confidence on offense and defense swelling as we were getting more confident with the game plan,” McElroy said.
The Elks hit the road tonight for the first time this season when they travel to face Denton Braswell at 7 p.m.