The Haxtun-Fleming Herald - What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

Bulldog season comes to an end following 2-point win over Buffs


November 18, 2020

(Herald photo by Candie Fix)

HAXTUN'S Dylan Buccelli, #11, and Gehrig Thompson, #91, put a stop to Caliche's running game during a play on Saturday afternoon in Haxtun. Buccelli tallied 12 total tackles on the day, Thompson had seven.

It was a close one, but the Bulldogs inched out a two-point win over Caliche at home Saturday afternoon. As it turns out, it would be the final game of the season, leaving the Haxtun team with a 3-3 overall record this season.

Haxtun was originally slated to travel to Calhan for week seven action but word came on Tuesday morning that the contest could not be played, putting an abrupt end to the Bulldog football season.

Bulldog sophomore Kyle Fryrear ran the opening kickoff back for an 81-yard touchdown to put the Haxtun on the board just seconds into the game. The touchdown followed with a successful two-point conversion pass from junior quarterback Owen Knode to senior Ryan Tempel gave the Bulldogs eight points.

In their first possession of the game, Caliche controlled the ball for almost seven minutes as they made their way down the field and into the end zone to eventually tie the game with the two-points after. The visiting team's kickoff didn't quite make the necessary 10 yards and the Bulldogs took over at the Caliche 42-yard line.

Sophomore Michael Gerk had a big gain on yards for his team but a false start call the very next play pushed the Bulldogs back, eventually forcing the team to give the ball up on downs. A second penalty on the Bulldogs, this time a personal foul, put Caliche in prime scoring opportunity early in the second quarter and with 11 minutes on the clock before the half, the Buffs took an advantage following a touchdown and two-point conversion.

The Bulldogs took possession at mid-field following the kick off and a hurry up offense marched down the field in just three plays, putting the Haxtun team inside the 10-yard line. Two plays later, Gerk found a gap and with a three-yard run, narrowed in on the Buffs lead. Gerk also ran in the two-point conversion attempt to tie the game 16.

Haxtun's defense held the Buffs on their next possession, forcing Caliche to turn the ball over on downs. Haxtun went to work to control the ball in the final minutes of the second quarter, but an intercepted pass from Knode eventually led to a Caliche touchdown, giving the Buffs a 20-16 lead at half time.

Scoring seemed to slow down in the third quarter, Caliche adding one touchdown to the board with just under six minutes left in the quarter. The eight point scoring drive put the visiting team up 12 heading into the fourth quarter.

But the Bulldogs weren't done. Haxtun went to work early in the fourth quarter and in just a minute and a half, Fryrear busted wide open for his second 80-plus yard touchdown of the game. The Bulldogs found a groove on two-point conversion attempts and this time found a gap with a Gerk run to narrow in on the Buffs' lead. Caliche answered back five minutes later but it would all come down to the final four minutes of the game. Fryrear got the call again, this time with a 29-yard run to add another Bulldog six to the board followed by the two points after from Knode. Less than two minutes later, Fryrear took the ball in, again, with a rushing touchdown to tie the game. A second quarterback keeper on the two-point conversion from Knode would seal the deal and put the Bulldogs on top by two at the final buzzer, 40-38.

The Bulldogs completed 13 first downs in the victory over Caliche, totaling 35 plays on their home field Saturday afternoon. Knode complete one of two passes for 24 yards. Gerk was on the receiving end of that pass.

Fryrear led the Bulldog ground game with 149 yards off five carries, including three touchdowns. He averaged 29.8 yards per carry. Gerk carried the ball 15 times for 93 yards and one rushing touchdown. Kailin Kelley tallied 40 yards from seven carries.

Knode led on defense with 23 tackles including seven solo and 16 assisted. Tempel added seven solo and 13 assisted for a total of 20. Gerk grabbed 13 tackles followed by Dylan Buccelli with 12.

Despite not making playoffs, the Bulldogs finished the season with a 3-3 overall record and 3-2 in the Lower Platte 8-man league. The team will lose two seniors to graduation in May including Tempel and Buccelli.


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