Thorndale sews up first district title since 2005
Despite the fact that his Bulldogs have clinched their first district championship since 2005, Burns wants a clean slate in the loss column when his team enters the playoffs.
"Being the district champion has been one our goals from day one," Burns said, "but we want to be the outright champion and go through district without a loss.
"We need to keep working to get better...we need to play well from here on out and keep things rolling and win gold footballs. We really want to play well on Friday night and finish off district 26A play with a perfect 5-0 record.
The Bulldogs needed all of their combined skills and Josh Ware's speedy ways Friday night, squeaking by an inspired Granger team 20-14 on a very soggy Lion Field.
This season's crown is the 24th for the Bulldogs in their history.
From 1980 t hroug h 1999, Thorndale collected 16 titles, including seven in a row from 1989 to 1995.
Lowly Granger sagged to 1-8 overall and 1-3 in district but almost pulled off the upset of the year on their—albeit muddy— home turf.
"Well we were very fortunate to win the game," Burns said. "We did not play as well as we would have liked but give credit to Granger. They did some things that hurt us at times but I was very proud of our kids in how they came back and played well in the second half.
"We really had some kids step up their play and really competed hard to help our team win. We felt like our kids played well in all three phases of the game in the second half."
" To tell you the tr uth, my young guys outplayed Thorndale tonight," said Granger Coach Allen Dews. "They never think they're not in a ball game. When Thorndale comes to town, we're going to play."
After blocking a Granger punt, the elusive Ware was at it again, this time taking in an 18-yard pass from quarterback Paxton Jordan and then hooking up with Jordan again on the two-point conversion for a 14-7 advantage.
The Bulldogs began to wear the Lions defense down with their relentless running attack and Jordan finally sliced over from the three with 3:20 remaining to be played for a 20-7 Thorndale lead.
Granger scored quickly to close the gap to 20-14, but after pinning the Bulldogs back on their own 40 where they were facing third-and-long, the Lions were flagged for a personal foul after a time out, which handed Thorndale a first down and the game.
"We got some good drives on offense that helped put some points on the board and the defense really played well except for a couple of plays. Special teams also played well in the second half....we returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and then in the fourth quarter we made a big stop on a fake punt."
The Bulldogs spread the wealth around, as four rushers had at least 35 yards, led by Jordan's 60 and Tyler Morton's 59.
The Thorndale defense limited the Lions to 198 yards of offense and just 118 on the ground for under four yards per carry.
Granger quarterback Andrew Aleman had 87 total yards.
"We feel like we need to play more consistent and we hope to do that this Friday for our last home game against Holland," Burns said.
That shouldn't be a problem against doormat Holland, who is 2-7 overall and 0-4 in district play.
The Hornets are coming off a 41-14 loss to Milano on their home turf.
Holland is led by quarterback Mike Cockerill, who logged 181 of the Hornets' 221 total yards of total offense and accounted for both their scores on a pass and a run.
Holland has not posted a winning record in 11 years.
In 25 previous meetings, the Bulldogs have won 19 - of-25 against the Hornets.
When they occupy the same district, Thorndale has won all 18 meetings and has defeated Holland 15 straight times and the Hornets haven't beaten the Bulldogs since 1959.
|Score by quarters|
|Thorndale||0||0 14 6—20|
|Granger||7 0 0 7—14|
GRANGER—Scott 45 pass from Aleman
(Janke kick) 9:37
THORNDALE—Josh Ware 83 kickoff return
(kick failed) 11:47
THORNDALE—Ware 18 pass from Paxton
Jordan (Ware pass from Jordan) 4:05
THORNDALE—Jordan 3 run (kick failed)
GRANGER—Kyle Janke 33 pass from
Juan Torres (Janke kick) 2:09
RUSHING—McKendrick 10-43, Maupin
6-35, Jordan 15-60 TD, Morton 17-59.
PASSING—Jordan, 4-10-0, 53 yards, TD,
RECEIVING—Ware 3-45 TD, McKendrick
THORNDALE SEASON LEADERS
5 TD; Maupin 87-441 5 TD, Morton
76-408 1 TD, Jordan 98-359 6 TD,
Talley 31-145, 4 TD, O'Brien 19-80
1 TD, Corcoron 6-20, Q. Ware 11-
25, Miller 3-0.
PASSING—Jordan 21-40-3, 428
yards 6 TD, Maupin 10-21-2, 147
yards, 1 TD.
RECEIVING—J. Ware 13-273 4
TD, McKendrick 6-77 1 TD, Morton
2-69 1 TD, Talley 1-28, O'Brien
2-21 2 TD, Ging 1-27, Miller 1-18,
Corcoran 2-26, Saunders 2-32.
(x-District Champions; y-clinched playoff
This week—Thrall at Milano, Holland at
Thorndale, Granger at Bartlett.
Last week—Milano 41, Holland 13;
Thorndale 20, Granger 14; Bartlett 42,