Your home town El Dorado Springs Bulldogs travel once again this past Friday. But this time, a date in Christian County with the Clever BlueJays. This was the second time the two schools have met on the gridiron, not including a COVID cancelation the day of the contest last year week 2. Beckner stated, “Some of these seniors and juniors remembered that from last year. We know there is no real control over cancellations etc but whatever we can use for mental edge, why not?” The Bulldogs battled through 4 quarters and came out on top 44-24.
TOUCHDOWN – Senior Preston Smith crosses the goal line for a touchdown.
The game started out in favor of the Bulldogs as they took the opening series and scored the first points of the game. “Normally we have a plan for the coin toss and if we win what we want to do, and things like that. Right before kickoff, I had a few lineman tell me they wanted the ball first, so we changed our approach slightly and ended with the ball first and they went down and took care of business.” For the second straight week the Bulldogs had a rusher over 100yards in the game. Last week it was sophomore RB Landon Murry (he finished with 96yds rushing and 1 TD against Clever), this week, however, it was starting QB Logan Speer. He finished with 100 rushing yards and 2 TDs, adding 76yds passing and 1 TD through the air. “I was happy to get some film of him (Speer) using his legs to hurt the defense. Our offensive coordinator (Chuck Speer) did a great job choosing when to run him and we found a lot of success with it.”
The defense started the game playing with a passion, holding Clever to only 3 points in the first half. Coming out of halftime was a completely different story. Between big plays and sudden change, Clever fought their way back into the game, at one point down only 24-30. “It got a little hairy there in the third quarter, had some bad breaks, missed assignments, and big momentum breaks. I was pleased to see how our boys battled through adversity, but it was a lot of self inflicted adversity. Come playoffs and into conference games, we can’t do that.” There was a lot of excitement happening in the second half, including a potential record breaking play. Clever had the football and the momentum driving into the Bulldog zone. After being stuffed for two plays, Clever decided to try a play-action pass and senior Preston Smith dropped and read it perfectly. Smith then ran 99 yards for a touchdown. “That was a huge play! We needed that. We try to have the bend don’t break mentality on defense…always play for the next play, they drove down a little but we were able to play for the next one and a positive thing happened.”
Through the positives, the Bulldogs did show signs of their youth as they produced 6 turnovers, which is the most in a game since Kelley Beckner tenure. “You know, we stress the importance of ball security, and we practice good habits with it. Some of those fumbles were effort fumbles just trying to get a little too much instead of just going down. You can live with those (you still don’t like them) but the kids are just trying to give their full efforts. A couple of the others, I think we needed better decision making and know when to throw it or know the situation of when the defense will be tugging at the ball. It is just those little things we talk about all the time.”
The Bulldogs travel for the third week in row to open up this season with a trip to open conference play at Buffalo. The Bison beat Forsyth week 2 34-27 and fell to Ava week 1 28-14. It will be a great match up between two quality teams and two quality coaching staffs. “I am extremely proud of our efforts last week and getting a victory against Clever. One of the hardest things to do in high school sports is win a football game, regardless you always need to celebrate it. This week is a big task, big week for the team and program. I’m excited to go to battle with this team!”