Bulldawgs can't control Panther running game
NORMANGEE—While there weren't any Mullinnix's to pose any threat, Normangee none the less found capable replacements for the graduated Panther twins who terrorized teams for the past four years, in a 20-7 season opening victory over Thorndale.
Both teams did all their damage in the first half and fought through a scoreless second half when neither team could find the end zone.
Normangee, which defeated the Bulldogs 34-0 last season, rolled up 318 yards on the ground as both quarterback Dominique Barton and running back Colin Reed topped the century mark for the evening.
Barton logged 154 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, while Reed churned out 107 yards and a score on 15 tries.
In new Thorndale Coach Kade Burns' first outing, the Bulldogs were switching over to the Wing-T offense and had limited success.
The Bulldogs compiled 160 yards on 39 totes for a four-yard per-carry average. Normangee averaged nearly eight yards per carry and took full, advantage of three lost Thorndale fumbles.
Sophomore Steven McKendrick was the most effective runner in the new spread, cranking out 75 yards on just 10 carries.
Kenneth Talley accounted for the lone Thorndale score, bulling in from the five-yard line with 1 minute, 17 seconds left in the first quarter to push the Bulldogs ahead 7-6.
The Thorndale junior varsity defeated the Taylor ninth grade team 22-6.
"The kids played hard and started the year off right," said JV Coach Kelly Kuhl. "Our drive in the fourth quarter showed how our offense is supposed to work. We kept the ball for eight minutes and capped it off with a touchdown."
Seth Rutter led the rushing attack with 84 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
Quarterback Dillon Irwin was nearly perfect, going 4-for-5 for 88 yards and hooked up on a score with Randy McQuinn in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Defensively, Irwin and Jack Elms picked off a pass each.
The Cougars were dominated by Crawford 49-7 in the season opener.
Jarrell allowed 400 yards of offense while picking up just 168 themselves.
Clint Vasquez led the Cougars with 36 yards on the ground.
Jarrell, which is picked sixth in District 25-2A this season, defeated Thorndale 56-0 last season when they went 3-7.
Long-time assistant Guillermo Gonzalez is the Cougars' third coach in the past three years.
"We're going back to running the ball," Gonzalez said. "We are trying to get back to that run mentality.
PAW PRINTS—The Thorndale athletic booster club would like to invite everyone to join in on their first-ever Bulldog Challenge. The booster club will be selling chances at each home game ($2 for one ticket, $5 for three tickets) and will draw two tickets before halftime and the winners will have a chance at kicking a field goal and an extra point for a $50 gift card to an area business. You may choose someone to kick for you, as long as they are not on the football team.
NORMANGEE 20, THORNDALE 7
|Score by quarters|
|Thorndale||7||0 0 0— 7|
|Normangee||6||14 0 0—20|
First quarter NORM—Barton 9 run (kick failed) 3:43 THORN—Kenneth Talley 5 run (Tyler Jordan kick) 1:17
Second quarter NORM—Colin Reed 2 run (Relles kick) 9:18 NORM—Cody Wolfe 8 run (kick failed) 2:53
Thorndale leaders RUSHING—McKendrick 10 -75, Talley 7-29, 1 TD, Morton 5-27, Maupin 4-12, Jordan 12-10, Ware 1-7. PASSING—Jordan 5 -13 -2, 78 yards, Maupin 0-1-0. RECEIVING—Josh Ware 2-45, Miller 1-18, McKendrick 1-11, Morton 1-4.
This week—DeLeon at Milano; Thorndale at Jarrell; Granger at Little River- Academy; Somerville at Thrall; Iola at Bartlett; Holland at Evant.
Last week—Milano 33, Waco Christian 26; Normangee 20, Thorndale 7; Bartlett 15, Austin St. Andrews 13; Johnson City 36, Granger 8; Itasca 67, Holland 13; Moody 19, Thrall 18.