ALEDO- When Burkburnett Bulldogs (9-2) HC Bill Dalke looks back on this game the one thing that will haunt him are missed opportunities. The Bulldogs despite totally dominating the first half missed three first half field goals and fell to the China Spring Cougars (12-0) 17-3 on Saturday evening at Bearcat Stadium. Sophomore QB Brian Bell hooked up with Mike Hicks for the big play early in the fourth quarter for a 68 yard touchdown pass and that would prove to be the back breaker.
After forcing a fumble on their first defensive series, Burkburnett would move down to the China Spring seven yard line but China Spring's Jerome Lloyd would block a Derek Deverauex field goal attempt to keep it scoreless.
In the second quarter the Burkburnett defense continued to play stellar as LB Malachai Neff would pick Bell off setting the Bulldogs up with solid field position. BHS had a 4th and one from the CSHS 31 and instead of going for it, Coach Dalke elected to kick a field goal from 48 yards out and the kick was just short. BHS would miss one more field goal right before the half, and it was 0-0 at halftime.
Burkburnett would finally get on the board getting the ball down to the 10 but the drive stalled and Devereaux would nail a 30 yard field goal and the Bulldogs led 3-0. China Spring was quick to respond as Lloyd broke off a 31 yard run which set the Cougars up to tie the game at three as James French nailed a 47 yard field goal.
After Matt Hicks for China Spring picked off Burkburnett QB Jason Beach it appeared the Cougars had some momentum finally, but the Burkburnett defense held and forced a punt. China Spring's defense held and after three quarters despite having less than 100 yards of total offense the Cougars were tied at three.
Bell's big pass play to Hicks took place early in the fourth as a perfectly executed play action fake brought the safeties up and Hicks sprinted behind the defense for the long score and a 10-3 China Spring advantage. Burkburnett would then make a huge mistake as QB Beach was picked off by Matt Frazier setting the Cougars up with great field position and Lloyd would cap the drive and win with a nine yard run and a 17-3 lead.
Next week China Spring takes on Abilene Wylie in a Class 3A Division I State Quarter-Final game at a time and location to be determined.