OG Bulldogs lose to Edna Cowboys

Jeremy Hadley Contributing Writer

The Edna Cowboys improved to 2 and 0 in district play Friday night as they defeated the Orange Grove Bulldogs 36 to 14. A dominant defensive performance paired with a balanced offensive attack was just what the Cowboys needed to keep their district record unblemished.

The Bulldogs offense picked up a quick first down to start the game, but the Edna defense landed the first big punch of the night with a forced fumble and recovery by D’Quare Brown. The Cowboys had similar issues early on and also turned it over after initial success on their drive. The early part of the first quarter stayed consistent when, after finding some success, mostly through the air, the Bulldogs turned it over again. The near constant pressure from Ednas defense was punctuated by a huge hit on the quarterback by Devin Johnson, which sent the ball to the turf and in to the hands of the Cowboys at the Bulldogs 35 yard line.

Early game jitters seemed to go away for Edna’s offense toward the end of the first quarter, because on first down, quarterback Jaiden Clay dropped a 30 yard pass right in to the hands of Layton Ressman, who fought his way down to the five. Dreydan Ashford plowed in to the end zone one play later to score the games first points. An issue with the extra point left the score at 6 to 0 in favor of the Cowboys with three and a half minutes left in the first quarter.

When the Bulldogs got back to work on offense their high powered passing game was on full display. They covered 60 yards in a short time, but were stopped on a third down and five when pressure from Paden Bradley caused the pass to miss its mark. The Edna defense did its job again on fourth down and gave the ball back to their offense deep in their own territory at the 12 yard line.

On first down the Cowboys offensive line got some push and sealed off the right side, which was all the help Ashford needed as he turned the corner and sprinted down the sideline for an 88 yard touchdown. This time the PAT was good and the Cowboys had a two touchdown lead early in the second quarter.

When the Bulldogs got back to work, it was again the right arm of their quarterback which did the heavy lifting. A few plays was all they needed to, once again, get deep in to Edna territory. Once inside the 10, the Bulldogs pulled off a perfectly executed jump pass to put points on the board. With their PAT, the Cowboys lead was cut to 13 to 7.

A big kick return by Dawson Kallus and a long reception by Jace Muncrief quickly got the Cowboys to the two yard line where Cameron Thornton took a jet sweep in to the end zone. The quick score by the Cowboys was just as swiftly answered when the Bulldogs marched down field and scored to pull within five points of Edna, 19 to 14.

With five minutes left in the half, the Cowboys came out firing. A 25 yard pass from Clay to Ressman took them across the 50. On a third down, Thornton made a juggling catch and broke several tackles on his way to a critical first down. From the 23 yard line Edna again faced a third down and long, and again picked up the yardage through the air. This time it was Ressman who made the catch and didn’t stop running until he crossed the goal line. The Cowboys lead with a minute in the half was 26 to 14. The last minute of the half was highlighted by a pair pass breakups by Ressman and Kolton Graham, and set the tone for the Cowboys defensive dominance to come in the second half.

Three minutes in to the second half, Jaiden Clay found Thornton downfield for a 40 yard touchdown. Edna’s defense, still building on the momentum of the first half, quickly got the ball back with an interception by Graham. A few hard runs by Clay and a chunk of yards picked up by Thornton on a reverse were just enough to get in to range, and Villanueva added the final three points to the Cowboy lead with a 42 yard field goal.

With the score at 36 to 14, the Cowboys were done scoring for the night, but the defense was determined to finish the fourth quarter strong.

On their ensuing drive, the Bulldogs quarterback was constantly harassed in the backfield by Cowboy defenders. Michael Salazar bolted off the edge to get a sack on first down, and on second down it was Ashford who got the sack. After each team traded punts in the mid fourth quarter, the Bulldogs backfield was again penetrated by the Edna defense. This time it was D’Quare Brown who shot in and made a great tackle in space to squash the Bulldogs late game attempt to add to their score. Edna took over with just over a minute on the clock and was able to run it down and head home with their second district win of 2020.

The Cowboys (2-4, 2-0) will look for district win number three on Friday when they host Aransas Pass (2-4,0-2).