Bulldogs stave off Florence passing attack via ground
For the past two weeks have drawn up a Blackjack victory.
While the defense patiently staved off a potent Florence offense, the offense finally responded before it was too late in the Bulldogs’ 21-20 victory over the Buffaloes at homecoming at Bulldog Stadium.
For the second straight year, Thorndale improves to 3- 0 on the season, while Florence suffers its first setback of the season and is 2-1.
Florence entered the contest, averaging nearly 40 points a game in its previous two victories, so Thorndale was well aware of their offensive capabilities.
“Well, first I want to say that Florence has a good team and played very hard,” said first-year Thorndale Coach Brent Brevard. “We talked at half about how we have not been in this position and I wanted them to not panic, but to respond to adversity.
“ The defense did a great job of forcing two field goals in the second half and not giving up touchdowns. “
The Thorndale D employed the “bend but don’t break” philosophy as the Buffaloes tolled up 365 yards of offense, including 258 through the air.
Florence quarterback Kaleb Hardy riddled the Bulldogs on 21- of-37 accuracy, but was picked off twice. He was also the Buffaloes leading rusher with 95 yards on 25 carries and two scores.
Of the 69 plays Florence ran, Hardy was in on 62 of them.
Thorndale countered with a consistent running attack as four different Dawgs had at least 40 yards.
Seth Rutter paved the way with 89 yards, followed by Eric Guzman’s 52, Steven McKendrick’s 41 and Tyler Miller’s 40.
Miller passed for 94 yards on 10 completions.
The Bulldogs struck early, scoring twice in a three minute span near the end of the first quarter.
Sophomore defensive back Riley Schaefer snagged a Hardy pass and returned it 32 yards for a score.
Three minutes later, Miller snuck over from the one to provide the Bulldogs with a 14- 0 lead.
It was Florence’s turn to rally, posting 17 second quarter points on the strength of two short Hardy runs for a 17-14 lead at intermission.
After a scoreless third quarter, Alex Juarez boomed his second field goal to push Florence out 20-14 with 8:41 to play.
A minute later, McKendrick scored his first touchdown of the season on an 18-yard scamper and the Bulldogs held on for the victory.
Thorndale defeated Florence 55-35 in 2010.
For all practical purposes, Bremond is starting over in 2011 after breezing through District 10A unbeaten and into the state’s final four in Division II with an 11-3 record.
Jeff Kasowski is the Tigers’ new head man and guiding a team that lost most of its key contributors in that deep playoff run.
The Tigers are 0-3 and have allowed 108 points, but possess a balanced offensive attack.
Jacob White, who took over for his all-state brother Johnathon at quarterback, has thrown for 509 yards and five scores and also leads the team in rushing with 236 yards.
Cade Grych has been the recipient of most of White’s aerials, grabbing almost half of White’s completions with 24.
One of Bremond’s three losses last season was a 41-14 setback to the Bulldogs as they sped to a 5-0 mark.
THORNDALE 21, FLORENCE 20
|THORN—||Riley Schaefer 32||interception|
|return (||Emanuel Castillo kick)||5:16|
|THORN—||Tyler Miller 1 run||(||Castillo|
|FLO— Kaleb||Hardy 1 run (||Alex Juarez|
|FLO—Hardy||3 run (Juarez||kick)||2:30|
|FLO—Juarez||37 FG :00|
|FLO—Juarez||27 FG 8:41|
RUSHING— Rutter 13- 89, McKendrick 4-41 TD, Miller 16-40 TD, Brooks 1-(-3), Guzman 4-52. PASSING—Miller 10-16- 0, 94 yards. RECEIVING—Elms 4-30, Miller, P. 2-40, McKendrick 2- 0, Youngblood 1-14, Rutter 1-10.
This week—Thorndale at Bremond; Lexington at Geronimo Navarro; Bruceville Eddy at Rio Vista; Rogers at Mart; Rosebud Lott at Academy; Jarrell at Moody; Franklin at New Waverly. Last week—Thorndale 21, Florence 20; Lexington 41, Academy 20; Rosebud- Lott 31, Bosqueville 6; Daingerfield 42, Bruceville-Eddy 16; Rogers 47, Troy 26; Jarrell 42, Johnson City 7; Franklin 70, Whitney 34.
THORNDALE SEASON LEADERS
RUSHING—Rutter 38-230 TD, Miller 39-124 3 TD, Brooks 6-20, Guzman 13-73, McKendrick 16-74 TD, Salinas 1-(-29), Ware 3-3.
PASSING—Miller 30-48- 0, 451 yards 3 TD, Schaffer 0-2- 0.
RECEIVING—Elms 10-178 TD, Mays 4-10, Stockton 2-56 TD, McKendrick 4-31, Miller, P. 4-90 TD, Youngblood 2-48, Rutter 3-26.