Elks make Pirates walk the plank
Burleson set the tone early Friday night when Jaylen Johnson returned the opening kickoff 95-yards for a touchdown.
From there it was smooth sailing for the Elks as they defeated Granbury, 42-6, in both teams District 9-5A opener.
The Elks special teams play was solid all night and played a huge hand in keeping the Pirates offense penned up deep in its own territory.
Special teams played great in all phases,” Burleson coach Gary McElroy said. “We had a kickoff return for a score, a punt return that set up another score and a fumble recovery on punt coverage that led to a score. Edgar Lopez made all of his point-after kicks and was placing the ball perfectly on kickoffs.”
Burleson (4-0, 1-0 in district) plays Joshua (3-1, 1-0) for homecoming Friday night. The Elks are off to their first 4-0 start since 2009. The Owls beat Arlington Seguin, 21-18, Friday to end a 29-game district losing streak.
“They are playing good right now,” McElroy said. “They are having more success than a team from Joshua has had in a while. They are playing with confidence and seem to be pretty physical. They are very multiple on offense and try and get you to line up out of position. Defensively, they are very sound.”
The Pirates (3-1, 0-1) responded to the Elks’ score by finding the end zone on the their first possession of the game. Quarterback Kevin Moore helped the Pirates overcome a fourth-and-four with a 24-yard scoring run. But the point-after attempt failed leaving Granbury trailing, 7-6.
It was all Burleson the rest of the game.
“I’m extremely pleased with my football team right now,” McElroy said. “We are just playing really good football.”
Devin Stevenson gave the Elks a 14-6 lead late in the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown run. Burleson added a five-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jacob Amador in the second half for a 21-6 halftime lead.
Special teams play set up the Elks first score of the second half when Jaylen Johnson returned a punt 64 yards to the Pirate 8. Amador scored two plays later on a four-yard run for a 28-6 lead.
The Elks’ defense put Burleson’s offense in position for another score following an interception by Carson Hallack. Amador found the end zone again from six-yards out for a 35-6 lead.
“The defense played lights out tonight,” McElroy said. “They play fast and they are angry when they get to the ball.”
Amador had a hand in the Elks’ final score when he hit Johnson on a three-yard pass for a score. The Elks special teams set up the score by recovering a botched punt return at the Pirates’ 17.
On the night, Amador completed 10 of 12 passes for 114 yards. He also ran for 11 yards on seven carries and three scores.
“Jacob is playing well,” McElroy said. “He’s executing the offense and not making mistakes.”
Caleb Lewis, who didn’t find the end zone, rushed for 113 yards on 10 carries. Johnson caught five passes for 75 yards.
“Our offense played with a short field all night, which is the way you want it,” McElroy said. “I was joking with our defensive coaches that the offense wasn’t going to make all it’s goals for the game because of the way the defense played. But I’ll take it. This is probably the fewest snaps we have had in the six years I’ve been here. The offense executed well.”