EARLY — The Early Longhorns finished their season on a positive note with a second straight District 8-2A win Friday, a 53-14 flogging of the Dublin Lions.
The defense of the Longhorns (2-8,2-4) shined, allowing the Lions (1-9,0-6) only 179 total yards. Meanwhile, Early quarterback Chase Reeves was 13 for 23 for 223 yards, and Shane Morris picked up 108 yards rushing on 15 carries. The Horns finished the night with 448 total yards
Early Coach Robbie Tindol said he was “glad we finished on this note. Our kids really care about each other… I have a lot of respect for them.”
As it did in last week’s win against Coleman, the Longhorn defense shut the ball down and controlled field position. Meanwhile, Early’s offense struck quickly, putting up nine points 1:12 into the first quarter. The Longhorns got a safety after an errant snap on a Lions punt attempt, and the ensuing free kick was returned 66 yards by Zac Fox for a touchdown.
The Longhorns then forced a three-and-out, setting up Early’s first play from scrimmage at Dublin’s 49-yard line. Reeves completed a 42-yard pass to Fox followed by a 7-yard touchdown to Shane Morris. The Longhorns were up 16-0 at the 8:21 mark in the first quarter.
Dublin continued to falter, coughing the ball up at their own 37. Senior Justin Taylor recovered, and Shane Morris’ 22-yard scamper gave Early a 23-0 advantage after having run only four plays from scrimmage.
The following two Lions drives moved the ball deep into Longhorn territory, but the visitors turned the ball over on downs on the first drive. A Curtis Melton 44-yard interception return ended the second drive. Six plays later, Early picked up more points on a Blanton Bowen field goal.
In the middle of the second quarter, each team fumbled, but Early scored its fourth touchdown when Bowen returned it with 5:23 left in the half. The Longhorns led 33-0.
Early kept the pressure up in the third quarter, taking only 45 seconds to score again. Reeves connected with Thomas Aly for a 64-yard touchdown, and Austin Baugh scored on a 7-yard run. Fox got his second touchdown reception of the the night after Morris’ fourth interception of the season.
Dublin found the end zone twice in the second half, the first on T.J. Turner’s 96-yard kickoff return. The second came on Justin Goodrick’s 1-yard quarterback sneak. Turner put the final points of season for the Lions on the board with 2-point conversion.