BURLESON — Playing in his final game against arch-rival Burleson Centennial, Burleson senior quarterback Preston Paden had a hand in all eight scores as the Elks defeated Centennial 55-35 in the school’s annual “Battle for the Boot” game at Burleson ISD Stadium.
The Elks (6-1, 4-0) stayed undefeated in the District 8-5A play. Burleson plays at district co-leader Aledo on Friday. Centennial (4-3, 2-2) has lost three consecutive games to the Elks in the series.
Burleson held a 14-10 lead at halftime. The Elks outscored the Spartans 28-15 in the third quarter to put the game away. Burleson scored on all four of its possessions in the third quarter.
After trading touchdowns with the Spartans early in the quarter, Paden, who ran for four touchdowns, threw three consecutive touchdown passes to senior Taylor Bissell for a 42-17 lead.
Paden completed 8-of-13 passes for 193 yards. Bissell caught five passes for 144 and the scores of 43, 26 and 29 yards.
The second and third touchdown passes to Bissell came in the span of 21 seconds after a Jaylen Johnson fumble recovery on the kickoff after Bissell’s second score.
Paden ran for touchdowns of 1, 21, 20 and 20 yards. He carried 23 times for 280 yards. Elks senior running back Kobe Slaughter rushed for 120 yards of 27 attempts.
Centennial stayed close thanks to two touchdown runs by Kelton Tezeno of 79 and 39 yards. Tezeno rushed for 145 yards on seven carries. Spartans quarterback Payton Strambler carried 16 times for 145 yards and scored a touchdown.
Burleson took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Paden hit Johnson for a 17-yard scoring pass.
After a 26-yard field goal by Centennial’s Ryan Reid, the Spartans took their only lead of the game at 10-7 after a 79-yard touchdown run by Tezeno.
Burleson answered with a late first-quarter score on a 1-yard run by Paden.