A night that began with excitement ended in disappointment for the Dove Creek High School football team.
Opening their season at home against Norwood on Aug. 29, the Bulldogs struggled from the start, losing 47-0 to their longtime rivals.
Keying the Bulldogs demise were several key penalties and several costly turnovers, including three interceptions thrown by Dove Creek quarterback Jordan Ernst.
After Norwood’s Clint Watt and Danny Harris each scored a touchdown in the first quarter, and Norwood’s John Broadhead scored twice in the second, Dove Creek trailed 28-0 entering the half.
Even so, Bulldogs head coach Shane Baughman was not totally displeased with his team’s performance over the first two quarters of play.
“We had a pretty decent first half,” said Shane Baughman. “If a couple of things would have bounced the other way, it could have been 14-0 going into the half.”
Looking to turn things around in the second half, Dove Creek forced Norwood into a quick three-and-out, thanks to two nice tackles by junior Spencer Gatlin.
Junior quarterback Jordan Ernst suffered a shoulder injury returning Norwood’s punt however, which stymied Dove Creek’s comeback attempt.
“Hopefully (Ernst) is good,” said Shane Baughman after the game. “He has a pretty messed-up shoulder right now.”
Third-quarter rushing touchdowns by Norwood’s Trenton Armintrout and Devyn Rummel put Dove Creek behind 40-0 entering the fourth quarter, and a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown by Sladen Hendrickson capped off the scoring.
Dove Creek junior Chance Randolph brought the home crowd to its feet on the last play of the third quarter with a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown. A holding penalty against the Bulldogs wiped out the big play, however.
Speaking near midfield after the game, Bulldogs fullback Case Baughman expressed disappointment. Even so, the junior expects his team to improve.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot with a lot of penalties,” said Case Baughman. “We just need to get more practice and get better at our technique.” You can’t base the season on the first game.”
“We’ll rebound, clean some things up and try to see where we can go from here,” added Shane Baughman.
With the loss, Dove Creek fell to 0-1 on the season, while Norwood improved to 2-0. The Bulldogs’ next game will be at home against Rangely on Sept. 5.