Playing on the road against Sangre de Cristo on Sept. 22, Dove Creek High School’s football team left little doubt as to its superiority as the Bulldogs smashed their way to a 66-12 victory.
Among the contributing factors to the lopsided win were outstanding performances by Dove Creek linemen JD Dennison, Hayden Gray and Austin Green, who controlled both sides of the ball throughout the afternoon.
“The offensive line sustained their blocks and dominated,” Dove Creek head coach Shane Baughman said. “I was very pleased with our line’s performance.”
Also key to the Bulldogs’ victory was the team’s ability to establish its running game, which was headed by running backs Gauge Thompson and Gage Bailey. Thompson rushed for 144 yards on four touchdowns, while Bailey came through with several long runs.
Quarterback Chorbin Cressler also contributed to his team’s rushing attack with 152 yards. The freshman also completed four of his seven passes, and his ability to throw the ball provided Dove Creek’s offense with much needed balance.
On the defensive side of the ball, Dove Creek was led by Wyatt Kennedy, who came through with a team-high 12 tackles and pulled down one interception. Thompson had two interceptions for Dove Creek, and Austin Beanland had one.
Dove Creek led 24-0 at the end of the first quarter and 40-6 at halftime.
Two third-quarter touchdowns put the Bulldogs ahead 56-6 entering the final quarter and with the clock running, the blue-and-gold-clad team coasted to victory.
“I was very impressed with how (our players) responded after the Norwood game,” Baughman said. “We had a great week of practice, and we carried that into the game.”
Now 3-2 on the season, Dove Creek will return to its home field on Sept. 28 for a game against Del Norte High School. Although Del Norte will enter the contest with a 1-3 record, the Tigers’ passing attack figures to test the Bulldogs.
“I know (Del Norte) throws the ball a lot,” Baughman said. “They have some good basketball kids that are playing football this year, so we’ll see (what happens) Friday night.”