By Gary McGriff, Cullman Tribune Sports
WEST POINT, Ala. — On a warm and humid night, the Priceville Bulldogs led by head coach Chris Foster made the trip down I-65 to take on coach Don Farley’s West Point Warriors in a jamboree matchup. The rain had stopped earlier in the evening leaving the field wet and the Warriors were able to fight through the mud to pick up a 19-14 win over the Bulldogs.
Priceville won the toss and deferred their choice to the second half giving the West Point the ball first at their own 35-yard line. The Warriors went on a 15-play scoring drive of 65 yards and all 15 plays were runs by Noah Laney, Dawson Smith, and Hunter Hensley. The drive was completed when Laney scored from one yard out. The drive consumed over half the first period and with 5:06 left West Point led 6-0 after failing on the two-point attempt.
The Bulldogs wasted little time in answering when they scored in three plays led by two runs for 67 yards by Jaxon Thomas. The successful two-point conversion gave Priceville the lead 8-6 with 3:26 left in the opening quarter.
West Point started their next drive running the ball to Priceville’s side of the field. Hensley dropped back and completed a 31-yard pass to Noah Bryan on a fourth and nine play. West Point appeared to take the lead when Smith ran into the end zone from three yards out. A major penalty erased the score and backed the Warriors up. On the next play, Hensley was intercepted by Riley Wagg and set Priceville up on their own 15-yard line as the first quarter ended.
Both teams struggled early in the second quarter. The Bulldogs mounted a scoring threat on their second possession. They looked poised to score until they faced a fourth and 10 at the West Point 26. Makylean Fletcher was dropped for a 2-yard loss and the Warriors took over possession.
West Point took over on their own 28-yard line for their second possession of the quarter. On the third play of the drive, Suyeta DrowningBear took the handoff and ran 71 yards for West Point’s second score. Again, the two-point conversion was no good and the Warriors led 12-8 with 1:37 left to go in the half and the first half ended with that score.
West Point couldn’t mount any drives in the third quarter. On Priceville’s first drive of the second half, they took 12 plays to get inside West Point’s 10-yard line. On the next play, quarterback Jackson Prickett fumbled, and Ashton Thraikill recovered the ball on the 7-yard line. After both teams punted, the third quarter ended with no scoring and the Warriors held the lead 12-8.
On West Point’s first drive of the final quarter, the Warriors overcame a couple of penalties and a fourth-down play to score their final touchdown on a 42-yard run by Kelton Washington. A successful kick for the extra point made by Omar Segundo and West Point’s lead was 19-8 with 3:44 left in the game.
The Bulldogs weren’t going to give up and scored on the next possession in three plays when Blitz Clemons got to the end zone on a 54 run. With 2:15 left and the two-point conversion no good, the score was 19-14 in favor of West Point. That ended the scoring, and the Warriors won this Jamboree.
There was fairly even offense from both teams. The Bulldogs ended up with 294 yards of total offense and the Warriors had 273 yards. The leading rusher for West Point was DrowningBear with 75 yards. Washington added 64 yards rushing.
After the game, Coach Farley was pleased overall but saw some things he wants his team to work on as well.
“We have some things to work on obviously, better blocking and tackling. We will fix things that we can control,” Farley said. “I was especially glad we didn’t put the ball on the ground under these wet conditions.”
The Warriors return home next week to take on the Good Hope Raiders.