DAY 5: Burleson’s Tubig too much for Pirates
This is the first in a series of 17 football game stories that will tout either a Burleson or Centennial victory. The series is meant to get you excited about the upcoming season and also serve as a lead up to the release of our 2016 Football Section in our Aug. 18 edition.
Burleson responded from an overtime loss to White Settlement Brewer with a 44-0 road victory over Granbury in a 8-5A opener. David Tubig scored twice in the opening 2:53 of the second half and his career-best four touchdowns and 193 yards rushing sealed the win.
“The offensive line just opened big holes and sustained blocks for me,” Tubig said. “They gave me just enough time to get through. I couldn’t have done it without the offensive line.”
Preston Paden added 110 yards rushing and completed 12 of 17 passes for 175 yards. Linebacker Jack Collins had eight tackles, becoming the fourth different player to lead Burleson defensively in four games. The starting defensive line of Ben Edgington (7 tackles), Kody Russey (6) and Trey Schuman (6) helped Burleson to its first shutout of an opponent since Oct. 10, 2014, when it defeated Joshua 43-0.
“They went off,” McElroy said. “They had a great night. Granbury tried to pound the heart of our defense.”
Solomon Johnson’s interception on the third play of the second half set up Tubig’s 17-yard touchdown run with 10:26 left in the third quarter. Burleson recovered the ensuing muffed kickoff and Tubig scored five plays later on a 1-yard run to stretch the 17-0 halftime lead to 31-0, and Granbury was unable to respond.
Friday’s game will feature two of the district’s most potent pass-and-catch tandems. Cleburne’s Trevon Bradley has completed 50 of 91 passes for 634 yards, and Jordan Gann has received 22 of those passes for 420 yards and four touchdowns. Burleson’s Paden has completed 52 of 81 passes for a district-leading 767 yards, with Taylor Bissell having caught 21 of those passes for a district-leading 439 yards and six touchdowns. Paden is also the district’s second-leading rusher with 573 yards and four touchdowns on 66 carries.
Last week, Bissell’s 56-yard touchdown pass from Paden with 6:49 left to play in the first quarter was the eventual game-winning score. Paden has completed a touchdown pass to Bissell in five straight games dating to last season’s area playoff.
Burleson wants to start better than last week. Sandwiching Bissell’s touchdown on the second possessions were drives that ended in interceptions inside Granbury’s 20.
“Neither one of those were the quarterback’s fault,” McElroy said. “We didn’t execute on the first one. The second was a toped ball that went right to the defender. It cost us points.”
But, it ended fine. In addition to recording its first shutout in almost a year, Burleson had 34 first downs and 551 yards of offense – 430 more than Granbury. Tubig entered the game with 47 yards on 13 carries. He had eight carries Friday for 10 or more yards.
Three of Granbury’s six first downs came on its final series of the game, after Burleson had lifted its starters.