St. John's took the opening kickoff of Friday night's Division I-A playoff game against Burke and marched 86 yards on a 21-play drive that took 10 minutes and 54 seconds off the clock.
One problem, though. The Islanders didn't score.
The opening sequence at Stoney Field served as a harbinger of things to come for the Islanders on a cool and windy autumn night. Burke, the No. 3 seed in the Lower State bracket, used a goal-line stand to deny the Islanders two yards from the Burke end zone on the game's opening drive, which ended with 1:06 left in the first quarter. Burke's defense was stout the rest of the way as the Bulldogs posted a 22-0 victory.
Burke upped its record to 7-4 and advanced to the second round. The Bulldogs will next play Hemingway, a 21-6 winner over Carvers Bay.
St. John's, shut out for the second time this season, finished with a 4-7 record.
"We thought we could control the clock," St. John's coach James Waring said. "But when you control the clock like that and don't score, you're going to get in trouble. Burke has a good defense. Everyone talks about their offense. But their defense gets the job done, too."
Burke coach Earl Brown Jr. continued to preach the "Bend, don't break" defensive philosophy.
"Some people think it's cliche," the first-year coach said. "But it's our motto. It's how we get things done."
The Bulldogs' first touchdown of the game came on Craig Williams' 20-yard pass to Devontae Wilder with 7:39 left in the third quarter to give Burke an 8-0 lead.
Solomon Dukes scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Damien Brown added a 2-yard score with 2:17 left in the contest, and the Bulldogs had their fourth straight victory.
It marked the second time Burke beat Region 6-A foe St. John's this season. Burke won the first game, 28-26. Williams threw a 40-yard TD to Tyquan Scott with 1:54 left in the game for the winning points in a game that had a lot more drama.
"We weren't as focused as we should have been," Brown said. "We had the win over St. John's earlier this season, and that affected out kids' psyche. St. John's came out with a few new wrinkles and it took us a half to adjust."
Burke tallied 214 yards in total offense, including 145 on the ground. Brown carried 11 times for 52 yards and Blunt tallied 40 yards. Williams completed all four of his passes for 69 yards.
B --Devontae Wilder 20 pass from Craig Williams (Bakari Blunt run)
B -- Solomon Dukes 2 run (pass failed)
B -- Damien Brown 2 run (Blunt run)