Elks rally late for road win at Copperas Cove
Blake Myers first start at quarterback for Burleson will be one he’ll never forget.
And neither will Elks fans.
Down 38-34 Friday night with 2:03 to play at Copperas Cove, Myers engineered a game-winning drive to push the Elks past the Class 6A Bulldawgs, 41-38, thanks to a score with 10 seconds to play.
“I think our kids played great,” Burleson coach Gary McElroy said. “We made some mistakes but were able to get those adjusted. Blake Myers, Caleb Lewis, and Jarrett Austin made some nice plays for us tonight.”
Myers, a senior, led the Elks on an 11-play, 68-yard scoring drive that he capped with a 23-yard scoring toss to Jaxon Winburn. Just before the touchdown pass, Myers converted a fourth-and-four with a 5-yard run.
“We didn’t have much time left and we had to go score,” McElroy said of the game-winning drive. “We used the field wisely and were able to get out of bounds. We had a couple of short passes that moved us down the field. They were conscience about getting first downs and then getting out of bounds.”
Burleson (1-0) fell behind late in the fourth quarter when Cove’s Micah Cox scored on a one-yard with just over two minutes to play to take a 38-34 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, the Bulldawgs had closed to within 34-31 on a 2-yard run by Elijah Delacruz.
The Elks trailed at halftime 24-14 at halftime due mostly to an 89-yard kickoff return by Cove’s Elijah Delacruz with 4:16 to play before halftime.
Despite the special team’s miscue, McElroy told his players at halftime that the game was there for the taking.
“We went in at halftime 10 points down and I told them ‘that’s a 6A playoff school out there that has a thousand more kids than us,’” McElroy said. “I told them to ‘get out there and play’ and they did.”
The Elks took McElroy’s words to heart as Burleson owned the third quarter. The Elks’ offense scored three touchdowns while the defense stonewalled the Bulldawgs’ offense, forcing a pair of turnovers that led to points.
An interception by Tre Allison ended Cove’s first drive of the second half and four plays later Austin scored on a 37-yard run to cut the Bulldawgs lead to 24-21.
Burleson’s next score came following an interception by Vernon Bullock. On the next play, Myers scored from 20 yards out to give the Elks a 28-24 lead with 5:25 to play in the third quarter.
The Elks pushed their lead to 34-24 at the 2:45 mark of the third quarter when Caleb Lewis broke free for a 55-yard scoring run.
The Bulldawgs countered with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns before Myers and Winborn hooked up for the game-winner.
In the first quarter, Cove took a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard run by Micah Cook. The Elks tied things at 7-7 with a 21-yard pass from Myers to Quenton Husband.
Cove added a 2-yard touchdown run by Russel Cochran and a 27-yard field goal from Cameron Ryan to take a 17-7 lead in the second quarter.
Burleson closed to within 17-14 on a 1-yard scoring run by Austin but the Bullldawgs headed into halftime up 24-14 after Delacruz’s kickoff return for a score.
Myers carried 17 times for 131 yards and completed 10 of 28 passes for 195 yards. Austin rushed for 72 yards on 13 attempts. Lewis caught four passes for 95 and carried three times for 65 yards.
The Elks host Denton Braswell (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Burleson ISD Stadium. The Bengals opened their season Friday with a 48-27 home win over Red Oak. Last year, Burleson beat Braswell on the road, 42-22.
Burleson opens District 5-5A Division II play Sept.13 at home against Waco University for homecoming.