Elks blast Cleburne to keep the Silver Spike
Burleson took out four weeks of frustration on Cleburne Friday night as the Elks retained the Silver Spike trophy with a 53-20 District 5-5A Division II win at Burleson ISD Stadium.
The Elks jumped on the Yellow Jackets with both feet in the first quarter scoring 29 unanswered points. Burleson now has a two-game winning streak over Cleburne.
“The kids were motivated tonight,” Burleson coach Gary McElroy said. “They got out there and were ready to play.”
The win snapped a four-game district losing skid for the Elks. Burleson finished the season with a 6-4 record and a 4-4 mark in district play. The 53 points were most scored by the Elks this season.
The victory also made McElroy the second winningest coach in school history behind Mel Maxfield. McElroy has 38 wins leading the Elks. Mark Saunders and Jerry Richburg each have 37 wins at Burleson. Maxfield tops the list with 45 wins.
Burleson set the tone on the first play from scrimmage when Jacob Amador hit Jacob Moss for a 63-yard score. Caleb Lewis scored on a two-point conversion and the Elks led 8-0 nine seconds into the game.
“Cleburne elected to differ and I told the kids that they are putting our offense on the field and we are going to make them pay,” McElroy said. “We went right at them.”
By the time the Elks had run seven plays, they held a 22-0 lead.
Amador scored Burleson’s second touchdown on a 1-yard run. The score capped a five-play, 46-yard drive and gave the Elks a 14-0 lead.
After a Cleburne three-and-out, Burleson needed one play to score as Amador and Moss hooked up for a 66-yard score. Sam Martin added a two-point conversion run and the Elks led 22-0 with 5:22 to play in the first quarter.
A Martin interception, the first of five by the Elks on the night, led to Burleson’s next score. Lewis finished off a five-play, 42-yard drive with a five-yard run for a 29-0 lead with 49 seconds left in the first quarter.
Cleburne broke the shutout with 6:38 to play in the second quarter when Gunner Hammond found Shane Eiler for a 14-yard score that sliced Burleson’s lead to 29-6.
With 1:47 to play in the first half, Edgar Zaragoza booted a 30-yard field goal that gave Burleson a 32-6 halftime lead.
In the second half, Burleson added three touchdowns and Cleburne scored twice.
Lewis scored on runs of four and two yards and Jarrett Austin found the end zone from 21 yards out. Lewis finished with 106 yards rushing on 15 carries and Austin tallied 59 yards on seven attempts.
Amador completed eight of 15 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Moss hauled in five passes for 166 and two scores.
Cleburne’s Jamari Bradley caught a pair of touchdown passes in the second half. The first scoring toss was a 35-yard pass from Hammand and second was a 34-yard scoring toss from Carson Gann.
The Elks held Cleburne’s top running threat, Jacob Reynolds, to 46 yards on 22 carries. Hammond completed 22 of 39 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns but he was intercepted five times. Carson Hallack collected two interceptions while Martin, Jared Johnson and Iver Mccaulay each had one interception.
“Defense played great,” McElroy said. “They did a great job against a high-powered offense. Our defensive coaches did a great job of game-planning against them. They found their tendencies and had the kids prepared. The players were on a mission tonight and did a great job.”