Revenge was earned, and it was sweet last Friday night.
Eight-man football rivals clashed in Mancos for a homecoming game Friday night.
Last year, the Bluejays travelled to Dove Creek and spoiled homecoming for the Bulldogs, winning 39-30.
This time, it was all Bulldogs. Leading just 6-0 after one quarter, Dove Creeks offense took off. The defense also kept Mancos running back Branson Mitchell in check on the way to a dominating 41-0 rout on the road.
Dove Creek was the more inspired team and it certainly showed.
The kids going into the game said, You know, they spoiled our homecoming last year. Were going to spoil their homecoming this year, 47th year Dove Creek coach Ken Soper said. They played good. They was up for the game.
After a slow start, Bulldogs senior running back Chance Johnson carried his way for three touchdowns in the second quarter to give his team a 26-0 lead at halftime. Johnson added another score in the third, and Cole Baughman caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dalton Randolph to make it 41-0.
The Dove Creek junior varsity played the final frame and preserved the shutout.
I thought our rushing game looked good, said Soper, whos Bulldogs amassed 229 yards on the ground.
Dove Creek (4-2, 2-0 8-man Western League), who has won four straight, rolled up 343 total yards of offense, while the homecoming fans saw Mancos (3-3, 2-1 8-man WL) limited to a meager 78.
We knew going into the game we had to stop Mitchell, Soper said. We knew that he ran the ball about every time. We did key on Mitchell. Thats what helped us stop their rushing game.
Mitchell came into the contest averaging more than 100 yards rushing a game. But managed significantly less against the stout Bulldogs defense.
For Mancos, not much went right. Coach Kyle Graff felt his team was not ready to play last Friday.
I dont know if we were well enough prepared, so I blame this one on me a little bit, Graff said.
The Bluejays coach praised Dove Creeks performance.
Theyre a really good team. They do so many things fundamentally well. Thats a tribute to Ken, Graff said. That Johnson kid, we just couldnt stop him.
It doesnt get any easier for a young Bluejays squad, as they travel to Norwood (5-1, 2-0 8-man WL) next week. Mancos takes on a Mavericks team at 7 p.m. that was ranked No. 5 in last weeks Denver Post media poll.
Well prepare way better for Norwood this week, and try to do the best we can over there, Graff said.
Johnson led the Bulldogs with 168 yards on 21 carries to go with five touchdowns. He had five tackles on defense. Randolph passed 8 of 11 for 114 yards and a touchdown, and recorded a team best nine tackles.
The Bulldogs host league foe Nucla (1-3, 0-2 8-man WL) on Friday at 7 p.m. A win over the Mustangs could setup a Western League championship game in Norwood the following week.
We feel we need to win this Nucla game in order to clinch at least second. Which means, that we will at least clinch home field advantage in the first round (of the playoffs), Soper said. Were not saying that were giving up on the league title, but we got to beat Nucla first.