ZEPHYR— The Zephyr Bulldogs continue pummeling non-district foes in the lead up to the district season after outlasting the Gordon Longhorns 84-64 Friday night.
The Bulldogs (5-1) seemed in for a dogfight early, but powered past the Longhorns (2-4) on the back of a seven-touchdown, 366-yard performance by senior receiver Devin Williams.
“We came out fired up and ready to play in the third quarter and brought it too them,” Williams said. “… Each week we’re getting better and better. During practice, we throw the ball a lot and work on our connections. We’re doing good. We get a little better on defense and we’ll be a heck of a team.”
Making only his second appearance since being cleared by the UIL to compete at the varsity level because of transferring from Early High School over the summer, sophomore Mason Rogers made his presence known from the first whistle, returning the opening kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown. Following a missed extra-point attempt, a fumbled set up Gordon deep in Zephyr territory. The Longhorns capitalized on with a 9-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Brandon Mahan to receiver Charles Mowies. A 2-point kick put Gordon ahead and, despite pulling out the victory in the end, exposed a flaw Zephyr coach Brent Williamson said must be remedied if they’re to be successful in district play.
“We have to get better defensively. There was some miscommunication on the defensive side of the ball,” Williamson said. “Our extra points, I think we left 10 or 12 points off the board extra-point wise. In tight games, like it was last week with May, extra points are important. We have to get better at special teams and on the defensive side of the ball.”
After a fumble stalled Zephyr’s first offensive series, the Bulldogs began to warm up in the second with quarterback Michael Sieder marching his team down the field on a pair on Williams’ receptions including a 9-yard touchdown to put Zephyr up 14-8 following a missed extra point. As the Bulldogs and Longhorns exchanged leads twice more in the second quarter, a pair of touchdowns lead to the final lead change with Rogers scampering in from 21 yards with no time left on the clock before halftime to put his team ahead 34-22.
“We really click when we get going and once we have a momentum shift, the game is ours,” said Rogers, who tied Williams for most rushing touchdown with four while also rushing for 175 on 11 carries.
While Gordon jabbed Zephyr with the occasional play-action pass or counter run, it was all Bulldogs from the third quarter with the Bulldogs pummeling on long plays from Williams, who tallied five of his seven touchdowns in the fourth quarter. With the win, the Bulldogs have one more tune-up game against Stephenville Faith next week before opening district play Oct. 26 against Evant (5-1).
“I’ve seen them on film. They’re a spread team and they’re very dangerous. They have some really tall kids and some really fast kids. It’s going to be a tough one this next week,” Williamson said.”