After bullying their way back within striking distance and making a heroic stand at their own one-yard line with about a minute to go, a game-ending turnover resulted in the Bridgeport Bulls losing 40-35 at home to Burkburnett Bulldogs.
Both teams entered the game searching for their first win of the season for the second game in a row, Bridgeport came up a score short in the final moments.
“The play that broke our back was the last play of the first half,” Henson said. “We had them guarded and the quarterback takes off for a scramble. We needed someone there to stop them and we go in with a little more realistic score.”
Burkburnett quarterback Bryan Lewis made the Bull defense pay again and again with his legs in the first half. The junior scored four rushing touchdowns. It started with a 52-yard run on the first play of the game after kickoff. He ended the first quarter with a 5-yard scramble for paydirt. Early in the second he hurdled fallen Bridgeport defenders on his way to the end zone on a 19-yard run, making the score 20-0 in what looked to be a runaway.
Bridgeport had chances to strike early, but Bull signal caller Trey Cook had a tipped pass intercepted in the Bulldog end zone at the end of a methodical drive. A fumble after a catch ended the next drive.
But senior receiver Jaz Hickson made some magic, spinning out of what should have been a sure tackle after a short pass to pick up 67 yards down the sideline with 4 minutes left in the half. Two minutes later he reeled in another short pass, made a defender miss and scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass, making the score 20-7.
But as time expired, Lewis once again gouged the defense on an incredible 36-yard touchdown run dodging and darting around a host of Bull defenders to make it 26-7 going into halftime.
“I thought we fought back hard in the second half, but we have to play all four quarters,” Henson said.
On the opening drive of the second half, Cook capped it with an 8-yard pass to senior Hunter Gantt.
Gantt was his favorite target, picking up 94 yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions.
Bridgeport outscored the Bulldogs 28-14 in the second half. They also did a good job controlling running back Marquis Askew. The junior racked up 268 yards and three touchdowns against Decatur last week on 25 carries. The Bulls held him to 74 yards and no scores on 18 carries. But the stable of Burk runners still managed to accumulate 366 rushing yards.
“Defensively tonight we came up against some running backs with good speed. We didn’t always take good angles and we paid the price for that,” Henson said. “We would have liked to play the option a lot better than we did, but they executed very well.”
Cook had a breakout game on offense for the season, passing for 294 yards and four touchdowns and two interceptions. With four and a half minutes left in the game, his 30-yard touchdown pass to Gantt put the Bulls within five. Unfortunately it was the last points they scored.
Bridgeport falls to 0-4 for the season. They look for their first win of the season next Friday at Princeton.
BURKBURNETT 40, BRIDGEPORT 35
Burkburnett … 12 … 14 … 14 … 0 … – … 40
Bridgeport … 0 … 7 … 14 … 14 … – … 35
Burk – 11:43, Bryan Lewis 52 run; David Barron miss
Burk – 1:52, Lewis 5 run; 2-pt fail
Burk – 9:08, Lewis 19 run; 2-pt good
Bridgeport – 2:09, Trey Cook 12 pass Jaz Hickson; Michael Rivera kick
Burk – 0:00, Lewis 36 run; Barron miss
Bridgeport – 8:22, Cook 8 pass Hunter Gantt; Rivera kick
Burk – 7:39, Bobby Ingram 41 run; Barron kick
Bridgeport – 3:04, Cook 42 run; Rivera kick
Burk – 1:59, Lewis 68 pass Ingram; Barron kick
Bridgeport – 7:46, Cook 31 pass Brazier Talley; Rivera kick
Bridgeport – 4:34, Cook 30 yard Gantt; Rivera kick
BURKBURNETT … BRIDGEPORT
First Downs … 19 … 17
Rushes Yards … 366 … 135
Passing Yards … 136 … 294
Total Yards … 502 … 429
Comp-Att-Int … 3-8-1 … 24-40-2
Fumbles lost … 1-1 … 1-1
Penalties … 10-105 … 3-15
Rushing – Burkburnett, Bryan Lewis 15-137 4 TDs; Bridgeport, Trey Cook 7-58 1 TD.
Receiving – Burkburnett, Bobby Ingram 2-88 1 TD; Bridgeport, Hunter Gantt 8-94 2 TD.
Passing – Burkburnett, 3-8-136 1 TD; Bridgeport, Cook, 24-40-294 4 TD.