by Dagan McIntire, Dawg Pack staff reporter
In the first game of the season, the seventh grade football team lost, 14-28, to a much larger Bolivar team in an away game on Sept. 10. Even though the team lost, the Bulldog players fought hard throughout the game.
The Liberators took an early 12-point lead, but Dagan McIntire scored a touchdown in the second quarter leaving the Bulldogs only down by six at the half. Despite Dagan scoring a second touchdown in the second half, the Bulldogs were unable to pull out a victory.
Dagan said, “This game was the first time I’ve ever run with the ball, so it felt awesome to make two touchdowns.”
Shelby McKinney led the team in tackles. Quarterback Trey Babcock completed four of nine passes. He threw one interception and two touchdown passes. Tanner Witt ran the ball 15 times for 35 yards.
Bradley McCullick said, “I was pretty bummed that we lost, but I knew that the team did our best.”
Trey Babcock added, “I felt we did okay, but I was disappointed with the loss. I still think we could have beaten them.”
Joe Fannon had mixed emotions, “I felt awesome about getting to play, sad about losing, and then I just felt hungry.”
Shelby McKinney summed up the game, “The game was fair, and we can be proud we tried our hardest.”
The eighth grade team took to the field next against a really tough Bolivar Liberator squad. Even though the end result was a 0-44 EMS loss, the score did not reflect the quality of Bulldog play. One of the highlights of the game was when quarterback Jake Schieffer threw the ball to Wyatt Graves who ran the ball 65 yards to the one yard line. Even though the Bulldogs were unable to score, it was still an impressive run. Chance Koger led the team in tackles.
Jake Schieffer said “We played hard, but we still have lots of work to do.”
Without any real recovery time, the Bulldogs played their second game of the season two days later at Fort Scott against a huge Tiger team.
“Fort Scott’s team outnumbers ours three to one which definitely gave them the advantage,” said Coach Tim Dade. “But the game still provided an important learning experience for our players,” he added.
The highlight of the seventh grade game was when Trey Babcock made an impressive interception. Cade Whitesell said his personal highlight of the game was just covering his man well, and overall he thought the Bulldogs ran the ball pretty well. In the end, the Bulldogs lost 0-44.
Tanner Witt remarked, “We never give up. We keep trying even when we are down.”
In the eighth grade game against the Fort Scott Tigers, the Bulldogs fell 8-48 despite the fact that the whole team played really well and put forth a powerful effort.
“I’m really proud of the team,” said Coach Dade. Some of the best plays of the game included Colton Collins’ two interceptions in the first quarter, the 25-yard reception that Kade Collins made in the third quarter, and Jake Scheiffer’s 65 yard touchdown that also came in the third quarter. Caleb Alexander contributed the Tiger victory to their speed.
Wyatt Foster and James Walker both agreed that the team played hard. “We did our best. You just win some, and lose some,” added Wyatt.
Tristton Minehardt concluded, “I’m proud of our team.”
For the third game of the season, which was also the first EMS home game, the Bulldogs took on the Warsaw Wildcats on Sept. 17. The teams had mixed results. The seventh grade Bulldogs played great, and in the end fell just short, losing 14-20.
Coach Dade said, “The defense played well, and I was pleased with the efforts of the offense.”
Highlights of the seventh grade game included a 35 yard rushing touchdown by Tanner Witt, a 67 yard touchdown by Dagan McIntire, a two-point conversion by Tanner, and a fumble recovery by Donovan Collins.
Tanner exclaimed, “Making the touchdown was awesome, and the two point conversion was great.”
Quarterback Trey Babcock was also excited that he was able to complete a touchdown pass to Dagan. “It felt good.” he said.
Donovan Collins explained, “I saw the guy lose the ball and so I fell on it which prevented them from scoring.”
The eighth grade game proved a challenge. The Bulldogs were never able to come alive on either offense or defense and lost 0-44.
Coach Dade was disappointed with the loss. “I think having three games in seven days took a toll on the eighth graders. The offensive line did move the ball well,” he said.
Kade Collins added, “We need everybody to do their jobs. We need to try harder.”