Bulletin Staff Report

CLYDE — Early fell behind in the first quarter and was forced to play catch-up for the rest of the game as the Clyde Bulldogs handed the Longhorns their third loss of the season, 35-17, here Friday night.

Nick Lyle passed for 221 yards in a 15 of 31 performance, and Collin Rome added 86 yards rushing on 24 carries, but the Bulldogs’ offense was more than the young Longhorn team could contain.

“It’s still a young football team, and we’ve got to be an old football team in a hurry,” Coach Robbie Tindol said. “They want to, and they’ll come back.”

Early, still winless after a rugged non-district schedule, will have an open date before opening the district schedule in two weeks, hosting Jim Ned.

“We’re going to have a dog fight on our hands,” Tindol said of the district race.

Clyde scored first when quarterback Jacob Gonzales hit Wes Liles with a 15-yard pass with 7:04 left in the first quarter. Early’s Mitchell Bailey, who was true on all his PATs, kicked a 20-yard field goal with 11:22 left in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs pushed out to a 14-3 lead that stood up through halftime when Gonzales and Derek Mar connected on a 5-yard scoring pass. Mar successfully kicked the points after following each Clyde score.

The Bulldogs extended their lead further when Gonzales hit Nathan Rose on the 5-yard touchdown play with 5:41 left in the third.

Early answered with Bob Atchley’s 1-yard stab with 1:10 remaining in the third, narrowing the Bulldogs’ lead to 21-10.

But Clyde owned the final stanza. Gonzales passed to Jeremy Gordon on a 14-yard scoring pass with 9:41 left, and Kelci Gonzales ran 40 yards for a touchdown with 3:02 left.

Early added a touchdown with 1:35 left when Austin Cochran caught a 6-yard Lyle pass.

The Early defense contained Curtis Kevil, Clyde’s star running back, in the first half, holding the bruising runner to 20 yards. But he ended the game with 183 yard rushing on 20 carries as the Bulldogs racked up 287 total yards. Gonzales completed 10 of 18 passes for 157 yards, and rushed for 40.

Longhorn receivers were led by Cochran, who had 6 catches for 58 yards; Seth Coolbaugh, 2 for 44; Michael Kramer, 2 for 43; Cody Bullard, 2 for 34; Sean Aly, 1 for 27; and Cameron King, 1 for 11.