Sanford crushes Bulldogs as ineffective offense dooms Dove Creek
Sam Green/Cortez Journal
For the Dove Creek Bulldogs football team, a season-worst performance came at the worst time.
Playing at home against the Sanford Indians in the first round of the eight-man football playoffs on Nov. 2, the Bulldogs in no way resembled a team that dominated throughout the regular season, falling 40-0 in a shockingly one-sided contest.
Foreshadowing what would be a game defined by missed opportunities for the Bulldogs, sophomore linebacker Jordan Ernst allowed an easy interception to slip through his fingers on Sanford’s first possession, allowing the Indians to convert a key third down.
Later in the possession, Sanford moved ahead 6-0 after quarterback Dustin Faucette broke multiple tackles and carried the ball into the end zone from 29 yards out.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Bulldogs’ head coach Shane Baughman. “They were more physical than us. They fired off the ball strong. We were kind of asleep at the beginning.”
Unable to generate any offense for the remainder of the opening quarter, the Bulldogs surrendered a second touchdown one minute into the second quarter, allowing Faucette to run the ball in from 17 yards out to put the Indians ahead 12-0.
Five minutes later, the Indians scored on a 7-yard pass play from Faucette to Calder Larsen, which, after a successful two-point conversion, put the Sanford ahead 20-0.
The Indians added one more touchdown before the half, scoring on a 10-yard pass from Faucette to Larsen extend their halftime lead to 26-0.
Looking to turn things around to open the second half, the Bulldogs offense was stymied by penalties, dropped passes and uncharacteristically undisciplined play.
“As a team, we just weren’t playing disciplined football,” said Bulldogs’ senior lineman Tyson Smith. “We were making mistakes that we should never make this late in the year. It cost us, obviously.”
“We had a lot of false starts and dropped balls,” added Baughman. “It’s a tough one.”
Before the end of the third quarter, Sanford extended its lead to 40-0 on a 10 yard play action pass play from Faucette to Larsen a 65 yard run by Faucette.
With the game out of reach, the Bulldogs offense continued to struggle throughout the fourth quarter and when the final buzzer sounded, the scoreboard read 40-0.
Clearly stunned and disappointed by their one-sided defeat, Bulldogs’ players convened near midfield with teary eyes and shocked expressions.
“It was a good group of kids, and they are all close,” said Baughman of his team. “It’s just a sad deal for them to end their season this way. We just picked the wrong time to have a bad game, I guess.”
Certainly a true statement, but all in all, the Bulldogs’ final game in no way marginalizes what was overall, a successful season.
With the majority of their offensive and defensive starters returning next season, the Bulldogs will again be a force to be reckoned with in 2014.