Bulldogs' fall short in comeback vs. Snowflake

<i>Photo by Jeff Pope</i>
<b>WR Johnny Butler helped lead the Bulldogs in the second half.</b>

<i>Photo by Jeff Pope</i> <b>WR Johnny Butler helped lead the Bulldogs in the second half.</b>

The Snowflake Lobos held off a furious Winslow Bulldogs' comeback effort and escaped with a 20-19 non-conference victory in Snowflake on Friday. The loss left both teams with 2-1 records for the season.

The Lobos built a 20-0 lead before Winslow rallied and came within inches of taking the lead in the closing moments of the game.

Snowflake kept an 80-yard drive alive by a 23-yard run on a faked punt from their own 26 yard line and scored with 4:40 left in the opening period. Derek Fusselman passed eight yards to Garet Flake for the touchdown. The conversion kick failed and the Lobos led 6-0.

The Lobos scored again on a three-yard run by Payton Reidhead to cap a 43-yard drive with 8:07 left in the first half. Fusselman found Reidhead in the endzone for the conversion that gave the Lobos a 14-0 lead. The short drive was set up by a 67-yard punt on Snowflake's preceding possession. Fusselman hit a number of key passes on third and long to keep the drive alive.

The Bulldogs, who had chosen to defend a goal to start the game, had to kickoff again to start the second half. The Lobos ate up nearly half of the third period on a 62-yard scoring drive climaxed by Reidhead's four-yard run. The conversion failed and Snowflake led 20-0.

Winslow drove 64 yards and scored with only eight seconds left in the quarter on a four-yard run by Matt Oso. Kyle Holland booted the conversion that cut the Snowflake lead to 20-7. Key plays in the drive were passes from quarterback Jordan Payne to Johnny Butler.

Mark Armao stole the ball from the Lobo kickreturner at the Lobos 33 yard line and Payne hit Butler at the goal line on the final play of the third quarter. The Bulldogs failed to score when they faked the extra point kick and ran for the potential two-point conversion. Snowflake led 20-13 entering the final period.

The Bulldogs went on an impressive 87-yard, 13-play scoring drive, which Oso finished with an eight-yard run. Key plays in the drive were Payne passes to Josh Stago, Butler and Holland and a 23-yard run by Butler on a double reverse.

With the game on the line, Winslow went for two points and the victory. The ball carrier was stopped within inches of the goal line and Snowflake clung to a 20-19 lead with just 2:30 left in the game.

The Bulldogs got the ball back with less than a minute remaining and drove into striking distance before Snowflake picked off a pass with just two seconds left and ran out the clock.

The Bulldogs will host Hopi at 7 p.m. on Friday in the first 3A North Region game of the year for both teams.


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