Burrton started district football play with a bang. Hosting Pretty Prairie on Friday, it was the Chargers who came up with the first big play of the night, as Dalton Hughes picked off a Bulldog pass on the third play of the game.
Unfortunately for the host Chargers, what followed was a series of missed opportunities — an issue that would come to plague Burrton throughout the night in a 36-8 loss to Pretty Prairie.
After forcing that turnover, the Chargers drove the ball down to the Pretty Prairie 16-yard line, but eventually gave the ball back to the Bulldogs with a turnover of their own (one of five total on the night).
Offensive issues persisted for Burrton, but the defense got after its opponent — putting a lot of pressure on Bulldog quarterback Lucas Detter, who struggled early. While the Chargers forced their visitors into some third and long situations, they were never quite able to get that big stop to swing the momentum. Coach Chris Jenson admitted he wasn't looking at the collective success of any series, though, but rather keeping his team up on a play-by-play basis.
"To be honest, I was just trying to push the kids to compete every play," Jensen said. "We were holding on for dear life and we had some kids who stepped up tonight and played well."
Eventually, the Bulldogs got their ground game going and Adrian Payne plunged into the end zone on a 15-yard touchdown run with three minutes left in the first quarter. Pretty Prairie then scored on its next two drives, one following another Burrton turnover, to go up 24-0 halfway through the second quarter.
However, given the fact that Pretty Prairie is a team that has traditionally won by mercy rule over Burrton (as Jensen pointed out), the longer the Chargers stayed in the game the more confidence the team gained.
"If they would've came out and scored three touchdowns (right away), it would've been different. Once they (the Chargers) saw they could compete, it was a little different and they were smelling blood, I think, defensively," Jensen said. "Offensively, we've got a lot of work to do."
Following that third touchdown, the Burrton defense buckled down and began to deliver some blows to the Bulldogs — including recovering a fumble just before halftime to end another potential scoring drive.
Neither team was giving up much ground to start the second half, as both defenses were bottling up the run before trading a pair of touchdowns late in the third quarter — including a 65-yard touchdown pass from Leif Hernandez to Bryan Swartz that put Burrton on the scoreboard.
Pretty Prairie tacked on an insurance score halfway through the fourth quarter, but the Chargers continued to battle despite being undermanned and having to deal with lingering bumps and bruises throughout the night.
"We got nine bodies and I'm proud of every single one of these kids. They came out and they busted their butts," Jensen said. "We just have to get in better shape and see if we can get a win this coming week."
Burrton (0-2) will hit the road to take on Fairfield and continue district competition at 7 p.m. next Friday.
PPHS 8; 16; 6; 6; 36
BHS 0; 0; 8; 0; 8
2:47 PPHS Payne, 15-yard run (Lu. Detter run) 8-0
10:13 PPHS Payne 2-yard run (Payne run) 16-0
7:32 PPHS Lu. Detter to La. Detter, 4-yard pass (Payne run) 24-0
3:33 PPHS Weide 16-yard run (Run failed) 30-0
3:18 BHS Hernandez to Swartz, 65-yard pass (Hernandez to Hughes) 30-8
6:55 PPHS #16 44-yard run (Run failed) 36-8
P. Prairie— Lu. Detter (9-26), Payne (11-73-2), La. Detter (5-31), Weide (19-79-1), Schuldt (4-6), #16 (6-76-1), Fairchild (1-7).
Burton — Canada (15-32), Hughes (15-56), Hernandez (3-(-9)), Lazenby (1-(-4)).
P. Prairie — Lu. Detter (4-12-79-1-1), Weide (0-1-0).
Burrton — Hernandez (3-8-84-1-2), Hughes (0-2-0).
P. Prairie — Fairchild (2-54), La. Detter (2-25-1).
Burrton — Swartz (2-74-1), Hughes (1-10).