Brownwood Lions bounce back with win over Burnet

Mike Lee
Special to the Bulletin
Brownwood running back Konlyn Anderson (2) churned out 261 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 33 carries in the Lions' 31-26 win over Burnet on Friday at Gordon Wood Stadium in Brownwood.

How important is winning a football game to end a losing skid?

“If you're not winning,” Brownwood coach Sammy Burnett said late Friday night, “it’s hard for the players to stay focused and believe in what their coaches are telling them to do. If you win, there’s buy-in from the players. They believe in their coaches.”

Burnett’s Brownwood Lions badly needed Friday’s 31-26 Class 4A Division nondistrict win over the Burnet Bulldogs at Gordon Wood Stadium. In the previous two weeks, Brownwood had suffered a one-point loss to Midland Greenwood after losing a 14-point second-half lead, plus a 36-point loss to state-ranked Ching Spring.

Before a homecoming crowd on Friday, the Lions (2-2) overcame deficits of 10-0 and 17-10 as workhorse running back Konlyn Anderson churned out 261 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 33 carries, and Jordan Leach returned a kickoff 83 yards for a score.

“We wanted to pound the rock. Especially once we got the lead, we wanted to run the ball and keep their (Bulldogs’) offense off the field,” said Anderson, who scored on runs of 46 yards and 1 yard and extended his season total to 818 yards rushing.

“With this win, we can get our momentum back. We have the potential to have a good team this year. We just have to keep getting better every week,” said Anderson, whose 1-yard touchdown run staked Brownwood to a 31-17 lead with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.

Brownwood running back Konlyn Anderson approaches the sideline after scoring a touchdown against Burnet on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.

Leach’s 83-yard kickoff return came just as the Lions had fallen behind 17-10 after the Bulldogs’ Dash Denton scored on an 8-yard run to open third quarter.

“The blocking was pretty good, and once I made it to the sideline, I knew I was going to take it to the crib,” said Leach, who was moved into the deep kickoff returners’ role this week.

Brownwood’s defense, which came in allowing 44 points per game, enjoyed a moment in the spotlight as well. The Lions stopped the Bulldogs on five running plays to the outside from the 2-yard line during a first-half stand. Burnet was forced to settle for Angel Suazo’s 28-yard field goal and a 3-0 second-quarter lead.

“The other team expects to get a touchdown when they’re on your 2-yard line, so that defensive stand was huge,” Burnett said. “That hold allowed us to come back and kick a field goal (a 35-yarder by Junior Martinez) on the final play of the first half to tie the game at 10. That gave us all the momentum going into the locker room at halftime.”

In addition to Leach’s return and Anderson’s 1-yard touchdown run, Brownwood’s 21-point third quarter also included a 25-yard touchdown pass from Chance Jones to Thad Hines that finished a 79-yard drive. Jones sparked the drive with three carries for 32 yards.

Anderson rushed for 148 yards in the first half, including a 46-yard touchdown for the Lions’ first score that cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 10-7 with 5:56 left before halftime. Anderson added 113 yards in the second half.

Brownwood quarterback Chance Jones delivers a pass against Burnet on Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.

“Our offensive line starting picking up their stunts in the second half. They stunted on almost every play,” Burnett said. “We started owning the line of scrimmage in the second half, and Konlyn did a great job running the ball.”

Burnet got 204 yards passing from sophomore quarterback Grant Glidewell, including an 80-yard catch-and-run score that pulled the Bulldogs within 31-26 with 2:07 to play. Brownwood’s Noah Barron recovered the ensuing onside kick to preserve the Lions’ win.

The Bulldogs (0-3), who didn’t get to play last week because of COVID, also got a 54-yard punt return for a score by Landon Christian that gave Burnet a 10-0 second-quarter lead.

Brownwood rallied from the 10-0 deficit as Anderson carried three straight times, including a 46-yard touchdown. After Leach’s interception at midfield, Martinez kicked a 35-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter to give the Lions a 10-10 halftime tie.

Brownwood 31, Burnet 26

Burnet    0    10    7    9 — 26

Brownwood    0    10    21    0 — 31

Second Quarter

BUR — Angel Suazo 28 FG, 8:10

BUR — Landon Christian 54 punt return (Suazo kick), 6:38

BRO — Konlyn Anderson 46 run (Junior Martinez kick), 5:56

BRO — Martinez 35 FG, 0:00

Third Quarter

BUR — Dash Denton 8 run (Suazo kick), 8:38

BRO — Jordan Leach 83 kickoff return (Martinez kick), 8:21

BRO — Thad Hines 25 pass from Chance Jones (Martinez kick), 1:48

BRO — Anderson 1 run (Martinez kick), 0:36

Fourth Quarter

BUR — Safety, Brownwood recovers low punt snap in end zone, 8:18

BUR — Will Johnson 80 pass from Grant Glidewell (Suazo kick), 2:07

                    Bur    Bwd

First Downs    14    14

Rushes-Yards    38-167    42-285

Passing Yards    204    53

Total Yards    371    338

Comp-Att-Int    8-16-1    6-16-0

Punts 4-37 3-37

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0

Penalties-Yards 9-82 6-50

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: Burnet – Dash Denton 11-70, Grant Glidewell 12-56, Jose Rodriguez 7-17, Ethan Wolfe 5-17, Grant Jones 3-7. Brownwood – Konlyn Anderson 33-261, Chance Jones 6-32, Jaylon Brown 1-3, Team 2-(-)11.

PASSING: Burnet – Glidewell 8-16-1 for 204. Brownwood – Jones 6-16-0 for 53.

RECEIVING: Burnet – Landon Christian 4-62 Will Johnson 2-87, Denton 1-38, Grant Jones 1-16. Brownwood – Jason Jackson 3-20, Thad Hines 1-25, Elias Huerta-Doud 1-5, Taylor Bessent 1-3.

RECORDS: Brownwood 2-2; Burnet 0-3.