Bulldogs score big victory, down Fredericksburg, 28-23

Brady’s Prennis Williams bolted 27 yards for a touchdown with 1:13 left in the game at Fredericksburg last Friday night to give the Bulldogs a 28-23 victory. The Dogs had to hang on as the Billies reached the Brady 29 before running out of downs with 16 seconds left on the clock. It’s was one of the biggest wins for the Doggies in recent seasons. Probably the win over Poteet in 2004 was the last big one. “If we are to turn a program around, we have to beat somebody that we are not supposed to beat. I think this was it,” Brady head coach Glen Jones said Monday morning. The Bulldogs took an early lead in the second quarter, but Fredericksburg came back and led at halftime, 16-7, that included a third Billie field goal that came with no time left on the clock. “Holding them to those three field goals instead of touchdowns was huge,” Jones said. “We came back in the second half and ran a little more man- coverage which seemed to help some. “We played that game with as much heart and desire as I’ve seen in quite some time,” the coach said. “Our defense was certainly in a ‘bend but don’t break’ mode most of the night,” he said. It was a hard-fought ball game, but the Bulldogs, led by QB Mackenzie Hirt, directed two touchdowns in the fourth quarter while holding the Billies to none. “Offensively, we struggled a little early on, but we finally got used to their size and quickness and made some key adjustments at halftime. “Once again, our offensive line just got better throughout the night,” Jones said. *** Fredericksburg, who has more than twice the enrollment of Brady, took the opening kickoff and marched downfield with their big fullback until the Bulldogs held at the 22. At this time Ansel Berber-Thayer booted the first of three field goals. This one was 43 yards with 8:04 left in the first period. Prennis Williams (5-9, 160) returned the kickoff to the 30, and the Dogs reached Fredericksburg territory where Hirt was sacked by Cory Muniz at the Brady 46. The Billies took the ball and promptly marched to the Brady 16 before stalling. Berber-Thayer connected on a 33-yard field goal with 11:16 left in the first half. Brady’s Zech Conrad returned the kickoff 46 yards and gave the Bulldogs good field position. Hirt hit Travis Tuckness on first down for 12 yards, then Prennis Williams got 11 before Dustin Williams skirted the left end and ran 25 yards for the touchdown. Xander Leatherwood, who suffered a concussion in the last minutes of the game, booted the first of four extra points. (He ended up 4 for 4 in the game.) Late in the second period, the Billies drove to the Brady 33 where QB Caleb McCrea passed to Sam Henke for the TD with only 29 seconds left in the first half. Hirt was intercepted on the next play from scrimmage, and the Billies were able to kick another field goal with 0:00 left in the first half. The third quarter opened with the Bulldogs having a 72-yard drive. Fullback Jake Long got 28 yards on the first play, then seven plays later Long plunged over from a yard out for the touchdown. The play was set up with a 15-yard pass from Hirt to Tuckness. Late in the quarter the Bulldogs attempted a fake punt which failed at the Brady 25. McCrea scored from the one seven plays later. The seven points put Fredericksburg up by 9 points, 23-14. On first down after the kickoff, Hirt hit Tuckness with an 18-yard pass to midfield. Two plays later the fourth quarter opened with the Dogs at the Billie 35. Five plays later Prennis Williams scored from the 16. Leatherwood made it 23-21. Fredericksburg put together three first downs and reached the Bulldogs’ 18 when Hickman got a 24- yard run. Two plays later the big play materialized when QB McCrea tossed a lateral that went awry, and Brady’s Dustin Williams recovered it at the Brady 23. On first down the Doggies were penalized 10-yards for holding. Then Hirt fumbled and recovered it for a one-yard loss. Lonnie Williams got eight yards on second down to the 20. On third down Hirt completed a 17-yard pass to Lonnie Williams. It was now at the Brady 37. The Bulldogs continued to stay on the ground, working the clock. The big play came with 1:13 left in the game when Prennis Williams scored from 27 yards out, running his favorite play–‘ 38Gs (two guards leading). The extra point put the score at 28-23. The Bulldogs finally took control in a frantic minute after Fredericksburg drove down the field. Brady took over on downs when they got the ball at their own 38 with 16 seconds left. Jones said after the game that 38Gs is Prennis’ bread and butter play. “It’s the first play they learn in the 7th grade. Just about every time Prennis carries the ball’it’s that play,” he said. Brady fans crowded the playing field after the game having waited several years for such a game. H The Bulldogs will host winless Ozona this Friday, Sept. 19 in Bulldog Stadium. It’s homecoming. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. “Ozona has some athletes in certain positions that will hurt us if we are not focused and on our game,” Jones said. He said they do many different things offensively that they are very hard to prepare for. We have to be ready for the Wing-T all the way to a no-back pass-happy gun-offense. That is always tough to defense. “Hungry football teams make me nervous. Ozona is a hungry football team, Jones said.” Ozona is 0-3 with losses to Harper, 43-28; Iraan, 68-7; and Wall, 41-13.

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