Dawgs struggle but pull out victory in district opener

Thorndale defense comes to the rescue

Colton Youngblood, who also accounted for a safety on defense, snares a pass for 13 yards Friday. Reporter/Bill Martin Colton Youngblood, who also accounted for a safety on defense, snares a pass for 13 yards Friday. Reporter/Bill Martin THORNDALE—After averaging over 40 points a game on offense, it was time too see if the Thorndale defense could take center stage.

It did.

While the Bulldogs weren’t quite as explosive as usual, the defensive unit made sure it didn’t cost them anything in a 22-6 District 12-2A opening victory over Bruceville-Eddy at Bulldog Stadium Friday night.

Thorndale improves to 5-0 on the season, while Bruceville-Eddy remains winless at 0-5.

Bruceville-Eddy’s strategy was to play keep away on offense and use a blitzkreig of blitzing to put up a wall for the Bulldogs vaunted rushing attack.

Thorndale didn’t adjust very well.

“Well we didn’t,” said Thorndale Coach Kade Burns. “They did a bunch of blitzing their linebackers and we didn’t pick them up very well.

THORNDALE 22, BRUCEVILLE-EDDY 6 THORNDALE 22, BRUCEVILLE-EDDY 6 “Also, we only had the ball for 42 plays. Most games the offense usually gets between 60-65 plays. We only had the ball for three possessions in the first half and scored two times.”

The versatile Josh Ware was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher and he accrued 65 of that on his touchdown run in the second quarter that pushed Thorndale ahead 14-0.

The Bulldogs’ leading rusher on the season, Seth Rutter, was held to 56 yards on 11 carries and Steven McKendrick gained 26 yards on 10 tries.

Quarterback Paxton Jordan picked up 63 yards on eight totes, but 31 yards were on his touchdown run at the end of the third quarter to hand Thorndale a 20-0 advantage.

“The key to winning was that our defense played real good,” Burns said. “We only gave up 174 yards and their only score was with under a minute in the game.”

Chris Sawyer’s one-yard dive with just 26 seconds remaining to be played prevented Thorndale from posting its first shutout since 2008.

The Bulldogs’ defense provided the final points after Justin Hilton and Colton Youngblood sacked Eagle quarterback Tanner Smith in the end zone for a safety to extend the score to 22-0.

“It is nice to be 5-0 and our kids need to enjoy it,” said Burns. “Howe ver, we have to ke ep improving each week and work hard to keep getting better.

Scouting Rogers

Thorndale will find out how competitive it is in Class 2A in a hurry this week when the Bulldogs travel to No. 13 Rogers.

The 5-0 Eagles are fresh off a 41-14 victory over Franklin.

Employing the slot-T, Rogers trampled on Franklin for 428 yards, attemping just three passes. Sound familiar (re: Thorndale)?

“Coming into tonight, the top four teams were unbeaten,” Rogers Coach Jeff Walker said after the game. “That meant the top four teams were 16-0. It says a lot about this district.”

Of course after facing Rogers, Franklin is no longer a member of that group.

Two weeks ago, the Eagles disposed of top ranked Mart 41-20.

“We’re playing a great Thorndale team (this) week,” Walker said. “Winning one doesn’t make the next one easier.”

Rogers is triggered by quarterback Ryan Fares and halfback Ryan Pierce.

Fares (6-3, 180) was the most valuable player of District 25-2A last season and Pierce (5-6, 150) was the pre-season MVP of new District 12-2A.

Pierce ground out 152 yards against Franklin and Ricky Campos had 135.

Fares dealt for 69 yards and scored three times, all one-yard dives.

Bruceville-Eddy Thorndale
16 First downs 10
41-125 Rushing 35-221
6-12-0 Passing 3-7-1
49 Passing yards 25
174 Total yards 246
4-31 Punts 3-38
8-2 Fumbles 3-1
5-40 Penalties 3-33
Score by quarters
Bruceville-Eddy 0 0 0 6—6
Thorndale 6 8 6 2—22
Scoring summary
First quarter
THORN—Seth Rutter 4 run (kick failed)
Second quarter
THORN—Josh Ware 65 run (Job Mason
pass from Paxton Jordan) 11:48
Third quarter
THORN—Jordan 31 run (kick failed)
Fourth quarter
THORN—Safety by Justin Hilton and
Colton Youngblood 11:37
B-E—Chris Sawyer 1 run (run failed)
Thorndale leaders
RUSHING—Ware 2-69 TD, Jordan 8-63
TD, Rutter 11-56 TD, McKendrick 10-26,
Mason 4-7.
PASSING—Jordan 3-7-1, 25 yards.
RECEIVING—Youngblood 1-13, McKendrick
1-9, Mason 1-3.
RUSHING—Rutter 79-441 7 TD, Mason
40-258 3 TD, McKendrick 34-191 TD,
Ware 13-142 2 TD, Jordan 43-251 8
TD, Miller 3-5, Ware, Q. 1-16, Cantwell
PASSING—Jordan 23-47-4, 394 yards
6 TD.
RECEIVING—Ware 8-193 2 TD, Mason
5-38, Corcoron 3-44 2 TD, Miller 2-41,
Rutter 2-44 TD, Youngblood 1-13, McKendrick
1-9, Miller, P. 1-4.

District Season
WL WL PtsOpp
Thorndale 1 0 5 0 197 68
Lexington 1 0 5 0 222 28
Rogers 1 0 5 0 180 97
Rose-Lott 0 0 2 2 79 75
Franklin 0 1 4 1 194 90
Jarrell 0 1 2 3 109 172
Bruce-Eddy 0 1 0 5 66 159
This week—Thorndale at Rogers; Lexi
ngton a t R osebud-Lott; F ranklin a t J arrell;
Bruceville-Eddy is idle.
Last week—Thorndale 22, Bruceville-
Eddy 6; Lexington 65, Jarrell 0; Rogers
41, Franklin 14; Rosebud-Lott was idle.

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