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Saturday, September 25


Copperas Cove Leader-Press


BELTON – Copperas Cove had a 28-6 third-quarter lead against Belton evaporate to 28-21 early in the fourth before taking control in the last half of the quarter.

Two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a span of just over three minutes made the difference in the Dawgs’ 41-21 district-opening win over the Tigers at Tiger Stadium Friday night.

Cove, ranked 12th in the AP Class 5A poll, improves to 4-0 overall, 1-0 in District 12-5A, with Temple coming to Cove next Friday. Belton, the preseason district favorite, drops to 0-4 and 0-1.

Cove coach Jack Welch praised both the Tigers and their coach Rodney Southern, Welch’s former defensive coordinator at Cove who is now 0-3 against his old boss since taking over at Belton four years ago.

“These guys had a tough start (to the season) but they played a great game tonight,” Welch said of the Tigers. “And you don’t find a better coach around here than Rodney Southern.”

Asked what his thoughts were when Belton cut it to 28-21, Welch joked and laughed, then added, “Belton has the kind of offense you can’t ease up on. These guys are deadly. So you’ve got to stay on top of it. We got into a little lull in the third quarter, but came back and that’s a tribute to the offensive line.

Leading 21-3 at halftime and 21-6 with just under 10 minutes left in the third quarter, Cove kicked wide on a 37-yard field goal attempt by Eli Kuhns with 7:26 left in the quarter. But two plays later, Cove’s Johntez Young recovered a fumbled shotgun snap by quarterback David Ash at the Tigers’ 24. Two plays later elusive quarterback Orlando Thomas scored from 16 yards out. He finished with a game-high 179 yards rushing on 21 carries. He was only 1 of 4 passing for two yards, a tipped pass that center Daquon Bratcher, a tight end last season, snagged.

Kuhns’ extra point made it 28-6 with 6:06 left in the third, and it appeared that Belton – which entered the game allowing an average of 54 points a game -- was in danger of being routed for the third straight week.

But the Tigers cut it to 28-14 by the end of the third and made it 28-21 with 9:33 left to play. Cove answered on the ensuing drive, however, marching 61 yards in six plays – all on the ground – to go back up 35-21 with 7:26 remaining.

Belton tried to answer, going from its 32 to Cove’s 26 in four plays. But on third and 10, David Ash was sacked by Josh Lyons for a 7-yard loss to the 33. Ash then threw incomplete on fourth and 17 with 5:35 remaining. He finished 18 of 37 for 223 yards.

Cove took just over a minute to score again, as Matt Hall capped a three-play, 67-yard drive with a 12-yard run. The extra-point attempt never got off, after an odd –looking snap, capping the scoring at 41-21 with 4:19 remaining.

“Orlando broke the game open at the end and Brandon Hamilton (87 yards on 18 carries) ran hard,” Welch said. “There were gaping holes and that’s a tribute to the offensive line.”

Trailing 21-3 at halftime, Belton cut it to 21-6 with a 41-yard Tyler Pate field goal on the Tigers’ first possession, after they recovered an onside kick to start the half. Pate’s field goal hit the crossbar before going over with 9:58 left in the third.

Cove missed wide left on its next drive, the aforementioned 37-yard attempt, before going up 28-6 three plays later.


Cove led 21-3 at halftime, scoring on its first possession and twice more in the first four minutes of the second quarter.

After winning the toss and electing to defer to the second half, Cove kicked off to Adrian Henderson who took it two yards deep in the end zone. But he fumbled inside the 10 and Darius McClinton recovered at the 8 four seconds into the game.

Three plays later, running back Brandon Hamilton dove over the middle of the line from a yard out for the touchdown. Eli Kuhns’ kick made it 7-0 with 10:31 on the clock.

Belton then began its longest drive of the half, starting at its 26 and going to the Cove 15 in 10 penalty-free plays. But two plays later on fourth and 8 from the 15, Tyler Pate kicked a 32-yard field goal to cut it to 7-3 with 5:40 showing.

Belton gained four of its eight first-half first downs on the drive, converting a third-and-8 at the 28 with an 11-yard pass to the 17.

Cove began its second drive at its 45 following William Randolph’s 20-yard return of a pooch kick. But four plays later on fourth and 1 from the 31, quarterback Orlando Thomas was held just inches shy of a first down on keeper right.

Belton went four and out, setting up Cove’s second scoring drive. Starting from their 32, the Dawgs began a 12-play, 68-yard drive capped by Randolph’s 4-yard run. Kuhns’ kick made it 14-3 with 9:11 left in the second quarter. Cove converted three third downs during the drive, including a third and 13 from the Belton 36 with a Randolph 20-yard run.

Belton went four and out again, leading to a David Ash 44-yard punt that Randolph returned 78 yards for a touchdown around the right side. Kuhns’ kick made it 21-3 with 8:04 left in the first half.

Belton gained two first downs on its next drive, before bogging down at the Cove 48 when Ash threw incomplete – an apparent dropped pass -- on a fake punt. Cove’s ensuing drive would lead to its only punt of the half, two plays after center Daquon Bratcher caught an apparent tipped pass on third and 23 from the Cove 35 for more than 15 yards. But after the officials conferred, and a flag was thrown, Cove was given a 2-yard gain – Bratcher getting a 2-yard reception from this reporter – and had third and 21. After Ryen King threw incomplete downfield to Thomas, Cove got off a 29-yard punt.

Belton started at its 34 with 1:22 and marched to the Cove 30, where four straight incompletions led to a 47-yard fake field goal that lost the kicker 14 yards.

Belton outgained Cove 116-95 in total yardage and 8-5 in first downs in the first half.



Monday, September 13

Friday, September 10

Saturday, September 4


Copperas Cove Leader-Press


For the second week in a row, Copperas Cove rushed for nearly 400 yards in yet another three-touchdown victory.

But unlike last week, the Dawgs threw more than one pass.

A week after beating Southlake Carroll 35-14 behind 394 rushing yards and one pass for 47 yards and a touchdown, Cove rushed for 393 yards – and threw for 85 more on 5 of 14 passing – to defeat Waco 49-27 on a cool Friday evening at Bulldawg Stadium. It was said to be the 25th anniversary of the first game between Cove and the modern-era Waco High in 1986.

Cove (2-0) will wrap up non-district play next Friday at home against the University of Nuevo Leon from Monterrey, Mexico.

Cove’s rushing attack against Waco (1-1) was led by running back Brandon Hamilton, who rushed for 194 yards on 14 carries and scored a school-record 99-yard touchdown run for the game’s first touchdown. He also scored on runs of 3 and 54 yards.

Hamilton, a 200-plus-pound junior with speed, had 200 yards on 12 carries by the end of the third quarter, but then lost 12 yards on his 13th carry with just under three minutes left to play before gaining six of it back on his final carry, one play after the 12-yard loss.

For the second week in a row, Cove had two rushers go over 100 yards, as William Randolph rushed for 101 yards on 14 carries and scored three touchdowns.

Cove’s other touchdown came on a 20-yard pass from Orlando Thomas to Alex Johnson for the game’s final TD with 4:55 left to play. Eli Kuhns’ last of seven extra points capped the scoring at 49-27.

Thomas, who was 1 for 1 for 47 yards last week, was 3 of 8 for 71 yards and no interceptions this week. Fellow junior Austin Greene, who sat out last week’s game to heal up more, was 2 of 4 for 14 yards and one interception.

Cove wound up outgaining Waco 478-416 in total yardage.

“Offensively, overall we played well,” Cove coach Jack Welch told Q102’s Russ Cochran in the radio broadcast’s post-game interview. “Defensively, we gave up some plays, but Waco is athletic, and I think they’re going to go a long way.”

Waco cut its 28-7 halfitme deficit to 28-14 in the third quarter, before Cove went back up 35-14 on a 54-yard run by upback Hamilton on a fake punt. Waco cut it to 35-20  on a 50-yard pass, before Cove answered again with a Randolph 41-yard run with 32 seconds left in the third quarter to make it 42-20 at the quarter.

Waco scored its final TD with 11:56 left in the fourth quarter to make it 42-27 before Cove capped the scoring on Thomas’ TD pass.


Cove led 28-7 at halftime, despite punting on its first possession, losing a fumble on its second one and having a pass intercepted on the last of its seven first-half possessions.

Waco won the coin toss and deferred, giving Cove first crack at the ball. But the Dawgs went three and out, after quarterback Orlando Thomas gained a yard on first down and threw incomplete on the next two plays.

Those two passes were one more than Cove threw for the entire game against Southlake Carroll in last week’s 35-14 season-opening win.

Waco took over at its 46 and drove to the Cove 2 in eight plays. But on the next play, fourth and goal from the 2, Waco running back Dennis Gibson gained but a yard as defensive back Chris Rhodes made the initial hit, followed by Chase Woods and then a host of others.

Cove took over at the 1 with 8:58 on the clock, and scored 15 seconds later on Brandon Hamilton’s electrifying 99-yard run that woke up the Cove side. Hamilton started the run off right guard and then broke a potential horse-collar tackle at the Cove 40 before outrunning the Lions (for a school-record run that breaks what is believed to be the previous record of 95 set by Jerrod Millsap against San Angelo Central in 2006).

Eli Kuhns’ extra point made it 7-0 with 8:43 showing.

Waco gained one first down on the ensuing drive before punting with the wind, getting off a 59-yarder that bounced at the 1 before going into the end zone.

Eight plays later on second and 8 from the 23, William Randolph gained five yards before fumbling to Waco’s Tristan Eche at the 18.

Five plays later, Gibson took a screen pass from Deonte Phllips, got a good block from one of three Lions escorting him, and raced 58 yards down the sideline for the touchdown. A Ben Diaz kick tied it at 7 with 2:03 left in the quarter.

Matt Hall returned the ensuing kickoff 37 yards from the goal line, looking as  if he would go all the way before the kicker slowed him up enough to be tackled by others.

But Cove got the touchdown five plays later, when Hamilton capped the 63-yard drive with a 3-yard run off left guard behind good blocks from tight end Alex Johnson and lineman David Jennings.

Kuhns kick, equivalent to a 30-yard field goal following a 10-yard holding penalty, made it 14-7 with five seconds left in the first quarter.

After Waco went three and out, Cove needed but three plays to score. Starting from the Waco 39 following a 24-yard punt into the wind,  quarterback Austin Greene – playing for the first time this season, threw a pass to Thomas near the goal line that fell incomplete. But Waco was called for pass interference, giving the Dawgs a first down at the 24. After a Greene incompletion on an overthrow near the goal line to Matt Hall, Randolph scored on the next play, sweeping right, breaking a tackle, then weaving his way through defenders 20 yards to the end zone. Kuhns’ kick made it 21-7 with 10:11 left in the second quarter.

After Waco went four and out again, Cove began its next drive at its 28 and marched 72 yards in 12 plays. Hamilton capped it with a 2-yard run over right guard as guard Cody Elenz drove his man into the ground. Kuhns kick made it 28-7 with 2:55 left before halftime.

After Waco went four and out yet again, Cove started its final drive  at its 31 with 1:53 left. But five plays later, Greene was picked off by Joshua Gully at the Waco 45 with 15 seconds left. Gully stepped in front of the receiver near the Waco sideline and returned it to the Cove 22. But after a 16-yard pass to the 6 and 3-yard penalty for a late hit, Waco threw incomplete twice from the 3 before time ran out.

For the half, Cove outgained Waco 315-178, which included a 250-112 rushing advantage. Hamilton finished the half with 140 yards on nine carries.




Saturday, August 28
QB Club Meeting, Monday, 30 Aug @ 7pm! Bring a friend!

Tuesday, August 17

Cove Quarterback Club is now on Facebook! Check it out!!/group.php?gid=138029736229359 


Support Dawgs in Uniform on Facebook

Honoring former Copperas Cove ISD students who have served or are presently serving their country as Active Duty Military and/or National Guard Reserves.!/group.php?gid=108571242511917