Longhorns use air attack in blowout win over Comanche

Beau Bearden

LONE GROVE — Every squad spends the week installing a game plan and hopes it pays off. There are many things that can prevent it from working out, but don’t tell that to the Lone Grove High School football team.

The Longhorns jumped out to a fast start Friday night and never looked back thanks to a strong air attack that propelled them to a 50-12 victory over Comanche.

“We had planned on throwing the ball and working on our passing game — that was one of the goals this week,” said Lone Grove head coach Brad O’Steen. “We were pleased to be able to throw the football and execute, but it still comes back to us not doing the little things right. And we have to do those things right.”

While every squad has areas of improvement, it’s tough to say that about Jace Brandenburg. The senior quarterback made quite an impression during his home debut.

It was Brandenburg’s third start under center for the Longhorns, but the first playing in front of the friendly crowd. And the support paid off as he threw five touchdowns and added another one on the ground.

“It was a great atmosphere out here — I loved it,” Brandenburg said. “There’s no better feeling than coming out here on Friday nights and playing in front of these fans. We have a great community.”

And the crowd that filled the stands for Homecoming were happy from start to finish. Lone Grove scored on its first play from scrimmage when Brandenburg found Jackson Grace for a 28-yard touchdown.

That set the tone for the second quarter as Brandenburg threw a pair of strikes to Malik Brown and another to Cooper Robinson for a 24-6 advantage with 1:41 remaining in the first half.

Longhorns senior Cooper Robinson breaks away for a long run during the first half Friday against Comanche.

But the Longhorns weren’t satisfied, as they used timely timeouts to force a three-and-out and get the ball back.

Lone Grove didn’t waste the opportunity.

Brandenburg’s long pass to Brown set up the Longhorns in the red zone and the signal caller punched it in from four yards out for a 36-6 halftime lead.

“It’s a mindset — it doesn’t matter how much time we have on the clock, we’re going to go play the full quarter,” O’Steen said. “We work on that. It’s situational football. Our guys knew what we had to do, and they went out and did it. And it shows when you work and kids understand it, we’re able to go out and execute a two-minute offense.”

The strong start to end the first half carried over to the third quarter as Brandenburg found Cale McLean for an 11-yard touchdown to give Lone Grove a 43-6 advantage at the 11:39 mark.

And the Longhorns added one more touchdown for good measure when Robinson scampered four yards for a score midway through the third.

Lone Grove (2-1) is back in action at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 when it opens district play at Pauls Valley.

“This is a good win to go out and get a little confidence,” O’Steen said. “But it’s also a situation to go learn. That’s what we really want to go concentrate on — learning and getting better.”