TAYLORSVILLE – Quarterback Gunnar Anderson generated 171 yards of offense and scored twice, including a game-winning touchdown on Friday night for Alexander Central High.
Anderson ran 12 times for 53 yards with his 1-yard run with two minutes, 45 seconds to play helping the Cougars beat visiting Burns 28-23 to open the season. He also completed 10-of-14 passes for 118 yards and two scores.
A returning starter, Anderson opened the game’s scoring with a 4-yard TD run and Bryson Godfrey ran for a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Burns scored about four minutes later on a 1-yard run by C.J. Hopper and Kujuan Pryor’s two- point conversion run tied it at 8.
The Bulldogs took the lead with 2:09 left in the first half on a 6-yard run by Pryor and Zach Benfield’s PAT, leaving the Cougars down 15-8 at the half.
Anderson’s TD passes came in the third quarter to Tevin Clark for 28 yards and 27 yards to Godfrey. The pass to Clark made it 15-14 after a conversion pass failed and the pass to Godfrey, again after a conversion pass failed, gave Alexander Central a 20-15 lead with 3:20 left in the third quarter.
Burns regained the lead with 7 ½ minutes to play, scoring on a 1-yard run by Jahari Mitchell and Pryor’s run for two points.
About five minutes later, Anderson scored on a run and then hit Clark for a two-point conversion.
Godfrey had 11 rushes for 86 yards and caught two passes for 36 yards, while Clark rushed 15 times for 76 yards.
Hopper led Burns with 25 carries for 112 yards.
The Cougars outgained the Bulldogs 331-239 and the game also featured a combined 23 penalties for 218 yards.
Jesse Schronce had eight tackles to lead Alexander Central defensively wit Tray Lackey and Frank Dockery adding seven each and Lucas Walker made four.
For Burns, Jack Willis and Dontavius Wells made nine tackles each and Nick Johnson had eight.
The Cougars’ next game is Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Wilkes Central.