The El Dorado Springs Bulldogs ended their season on Friday night as they took on the undefeated Fair Grove Eagles in the district semifinals.
Fair Grove began the evening on offense and after a 12-play drive, had to settle for a 30-yard field goal as the Eagles took a 3-0 lead.
The Bulldogs offense took over on their own 16-yard line. ElDo put together a 12 play, 64-yard drive, highlighted by a 19-yard pass from Riley Boyd to Jake Schieffer, a 20-yard run by Boyd and a 12-yard run by Trenton Hardie, before a rare fumble by the Bulldogs gave Fair Grove the ball at their own 20-yard line with the first quarter coming to a close.
In the second quarter, Fair Grove finished off a 13-play drive as an Eagle running back leapt into the endzone from one yard out giving Fair Grove a 10-0 lead. Both teams would go on long drives that came up empty as the half came to a close with the Eagles still leading by 10.
Opening the second half, the Bulldogs gained a first down before being forced to punt later on in the drive. Fair Grove answered with an 11-play drive that ended in a touchdown giving the Eagles a 17-0 lead.
The Bulldog offense began their next possession at their own 38-yard line and three plays later, Hardie dashed downfield for a 15-yard gain, nearly evading all Fair Grove defenders. The ElDo offense would then be backed up after a 15-yard penalty and the Bulldogs would be forced to punt bringing the 3rd quarter to a close.
In the fourth quarter Fair Grove went on a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive to take a 24-0 lead. The Bulldogs, trying to get back into the game took to the air but was again forced to punt on their next drive.
The Eagles only needed one play to score as they threw a deep ball that was caught and run into the Endzone to take a 31-0 lead.
On the next drive the Bulldog offense turned the ball over on downs and the Eagles responded with another one-play long touchdown pass to take a 38-0 lead.
The Bulldogs began to sub a few players in at this point while the Eagles stuck with their starters and ElDo got back to doing what they had become accustomed to, as the Bulldogs went 80-yards down field on a 10-play drive. The drive was highlighted by a first down gained by sophomore Deegan Brake, a 12-yard run senior Shane Trowbridge, a 31-yard pass from Boyd to Schieffer and capped off with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Boyd to Schieffer.
The game ended on the next Fair Grove drive with a final score of 38-6.
Coach Scroggins said, “We got a little banged up last week early on in the Cole Camp game and came into this week with two of our two-way starters not able to go 100%, but even with that we fought hard and had our chances to win. The defense did a good job of holding the Eagles to a field goal on their first possession and offensively we were able to march down the field and get into position to score before we turned the ball over.
Later on in the second half we had a drive stall due to penalty yards. We knew that Fair Grove was going to be good, they are undefeated and had been playing well and we needed to play a clean game in order to win and we weren’t able to do that.
Looking at the season as a whole, I am incredibly proud of how our players came together this year. Starting off 0-4, we easily could have had guys turn on each other and begin placing blame for the losses but instead we focused on getting better, believed in one another and grew closer as a team and I think that speaks volumes about our seniors, Dayton Austin, Riley Boyd, Ethan Dubois, Dalton Fuller, Jamie Isaacs, Nate Marsh and Shane Trowbridge. Playing as many young kids that we did I thought our growth was tremendous and that on top of having four of our losses come by less than a touchdown, I am very excited for next year.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a 4-7 record while Fair Grove (11-0) takes on Lamar in the District Championship.