The Longhorns came out with the tried and true onside kick and took possession of the ball. Four plays later the Bulldogs Travis Escamilla recovered a GW fumble. A waved off flag and the Bulldogs fell short less than a yard on a 3rd and 15 pass from Garrett Luthringer to Jonathan Luna. John Ross didn’t beat the rush on the punt and had his kick blocked – and Holden Holms runs the ball into the end zone for the first Longhorn score and probable player of the week honors next pep rally. The PAT was good and Longhorns took the lead 7-0.
The Bulldogs next possession was stymied and resulted in a 29 yard punt by Ross. Offsetting penalties thwarted the Longhorn possession and a few plays later the ‘Dog defense forced the punt. The Bulldogs start at their 9-yard line and make it out to the 16. Ross punts a 46 yarder and the Longhorns pick up on their own 47. Shannon Taylor found crease after crease and with his quick cuts weaved through to set up the next score for the ‘Horns. The PAT was good and the Longhorns stood 14-0.
The Bulldogs drove back, starting from their 45 and ended with a score 6 minutes later. Two big pass plays from Luthringer to Ross for 10 and a Luthringer to Luna for 15 aided the ‘Dogs in the quest for the score. Ground gains from Javy Salazar figured in to the equation as well. Rico Rodriguez scored from 3 yards out but the play pass for the 2 points was incomplete but the ‘Dogs showed they were in GW to play.
The next Longhorn drive ended on a 4th and 1 when Travis Escamilla and his linebacker duo of Whitney and Smith controlled the line of scrimmage. The Bulldog defense contained the drive to take over on the ‘Horn 29 with 29 seconds left in the half. Three incomplete passes led to a Javy Salazar field goal for 35 yards as the clock ran out for the half. Longhorns went in leading 14-9.
A big return on the kick off led to the next Longhorn score. The Longhorns go up 21-9.
The Bulldogs lined up and did what they have done all year. They drove hard and fast. Salazar and Luthringer worked through the wrecking crew to accumulate 2 first downs and get inside the GW 30 yard line. An intercepted pass however ended the drive 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter. The Longhorns go-to-man Taylor showed why he has earned accolades all season long. Leading the way most of the drive Taylor, along with the Holt brothers made it down to the Bulldog 20 yard line as the quarter ended.
A Longhorn fumble after a Bulldog hit gave breath to the Bulldogs – and like the Pit Bull they can be, Three Rivers started a march to the end zone. Salazar led the way on the ground first play. Then a Logan Muniz and Luthringer connection for 41 yards set the tone. Rico Rodriguez went around end and dove into the end zone. The ball was placed on the 2-yard line however and it took a few plays to put it over the goal line. The pass for 2 from Luthringer to Rico was good for the two as the Bulldog threat became real as the ‘Dogs pulled within 4 points as the score went 17-21.
A big pass play secured the bragging rights for the Longhorns. Tidal found his receiver and made the 40 yard connection. A few plays later the Longhorns punched it in for the score and added the PAT. With time on the side of the Longhorns, the Bulldogs didn’t score again as time ran out with the Longhorns taking District Champ Honors and the Bulldogs settling for the Runner-up position as the game ended 17-28.