Relying on the strong legs of running back Austin Hackney and a standout performance from its defense and special teams, the Dolores High School football team roared past Monument Valley, 44-0, at home on Oct. 13.
The tone for the Bears’ dominant performance was set almost immediately, when, on Monument Valley’s first offensive play of the game, sophomore Trey Seekins came down with an interception.
Moments later, Dolores senior Talon Zwicker scored on a 5-yard touchdown run that was highlighted by an athletic hurdle over an oncoming defender near the left hash mark with 10:35 left in the first quarter.
A 32-yard touchdown run by senior Austin Hackney on the Bears’ ensuing offensive possession put Dolores ahead 16-0 with 6:50 left in the first quarter. A Seekins interception in his own end zone with 59 seconds left in the first frame preserved the Dolores lead.
“I just read the quarterback’s eyes and followed (the ball) and picked it off at its highest point,” Seekins said. “I think our coverage was really great tonight, and although our tackling could have been better, we did pretty good on defense.”
Carrying momentum into the second quarter, the Bears delivered their most impressive offensive play of the game when Hackney took a third down handoff, avoided a tackler with a deft spin move near the line of scrimmage and raced 69 yards for the score.
The lengthy run accounted for just less than one-third of the senior’s game-high 194 rushing yards and put Dolores ahead 22-0 heading into the locker room at halftime.
“I wasn’t expecting to make a touchdown out of the spin,” Hackney said. “I thought I was going to get tackled right there, but I got some good blocks and was able to break through.”
Throughout the third quarter, the Dolores running game continued to pour it on as Hackney scored a 24-yard rushing touchdown to put the Bears ahead 30-0 and a 5-yard touchdown to extend the Bears lead to 37-0.
Freshman quarterback Jayden Karo capped off the scoring onslaught with a 4-yard touchdown run around the left side on a quarterback keeper with 30 seconds left in the third quarter, and with the Bears leading 44-0, a running clock was implemented and the fourth quarter quickly expired.
In addition to Bears’ stellar play on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, the team received a significant boost from its special teams, including punter Bryce Baumgarten, whose three punts for 95 yards significantly shifted field position.
The junior kicker also converted two extra points for Dolores and after the contest concluded, he discussed the importance of special teams.
“Our special teams tries to give our defense some good field position so they can stop the other team’s offense,” Baumgarten said. “I jus try to grab the ball and kick it as far as I can.”
Currently 4-3 on the season, the Bears will return to the practice field in preparation for a critical league contest against Centauri, which is currently 7-0 on the season. The game will take place at the Dolores High School football field and will begin at 7 p.m.