The air was cold, the ground was cold, the cheerleaders were cold and the fans were cold. The only warm thing in Mancos, in fact, seemed to be the Dove Creek Bulldogs football team, and boy was it cooking.
Playing on the road against the Mancos Bluejays on Friday, Oct. 4, the Bulldogs utilized a powerful rushing attack and physical defensive play to decimate their opponents, 52-0.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was star junior Chance Randolph, who, on the Bulldogs’ first offensive play of the game, took a handoff and sprinted off left tackle for a 66-yard score.
After quarterback Jordan Earnst completed a pass to senior Dillon Daves for a two-point conversion, the Bulldogs led 8-0 with 10:17 to go in the first quarter.
Following another three-and-out by the Bluejays, the Bulldogs offense went back to work, but stalled following a fumble by sophomore Case Baughman.
“We had a couple of fumbles and some dropped passes,” said Bulldogs head coach Shane Baughman. “That’s not typical of these guys. I think that the cold weather may have had something to do with it.”
Not to be discouraged by the fumble, the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 10-0 after sophomore Jordan Earnst tackled Bluejays’ running back Steven Roweder in the Mancos end zone.
“You can’t be scared of anybody,” said Earnst. “You’ve got to hit as hard as you can. You might get a bump and bruise here and there, but in the end, it’s better for the team.”
Later in the first quarter, the Bulldogs offense scored again, this time on a 16-yard pass play from Earnst to Daves, which stretched the visitor’s lead to 16-0.
Two more touchdowns by Case Baughman, one on a 10-yard reception and one on a 10-yard run, put the Bulldogs up 31-0 entering the half.
“Our line is really good at blocking,” said Case Baughman. “They are all seniors, and they do a really good job. That allows the running backs to get touchdowns.”
Beginning the second half much as they ended the first, the Bulldogs scored quickly after Randolph swept to the right for a 5-yard score.
Later in the third quarter, Baughman would put the Bulldogs up 45-0 with his third touchdown of the game. Then came a play to remember.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the game already in hand, Randolph took a handoff, swept to the right, broke at least eight tackles and dragged multiple Bluejays down the right sideline for a 28-yard score, putting the Bulldogs ahead 52-0 and leaving teammates and coaches in awe.
“Some of (Randolph’s) runs tonight were ungodly,” said Shane Baughman, in obvious reference to the play. “You just don’t see that kind of thing from a kid his size.”
“(Randolph) looks small, but he has the strongest legs,” added Earnst. “He’s the strongest kid I know. He’s like a little tank.”
For the game, Randolph rushed for 224 yards on 18 carries.
With their season record now at 5-1, the Bulldogs will take a short rest before playing at home against the Nucla Mustangs on Friday, Oct. 11.