Dee Bowler comes up big in overtime victory.
The trip to North Las Vegas was well worth it for the Bulldog faithful as their team overcame away from home jitters to defeat the Mojave High School Rattlers 26-0 Friday night. It was a huge game for the Bulldogs as they won their first 1A Sunrise Division League game. The Bulldogs fell short for the first time this year as their opening drive was stopped on an interception of a Garrett Leavitt pass on the Rattlers 11 yard line. The Rattlers could not keep the momentum as the ‘Dawgs forced a punt. It took the high powered Bulldog offense only 1:51 minutes to go 52 yards for the first points of the evening. Two passes from Leavitt to Tanner Kilmer ate up 44 yards including 30 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead. Tyson Teerlink’s point after kick was good for one more point. The Bulldogs kick off was received on the 3 yard line by the Rattlers whose runner took it all the way for a 97 yard touchdown, but holding was called on the play negating the score. The penalty forced the Rattlers back to their own 20 yard line. Four plays later it was Bulldog ball again as the Bulldog defense forced a fumble recovered on the Rattlers 43 yard line by Kilmer. It was the break the Bulldogs needed as Leavitt went off the right side for 15 yards on a keeper. Leavitt then hit Teerlink for 28 yards and the Bulldogs second touchdown giving the Bulldogs a 13-0 lead with 2:18 remaining in the first quarter. Teerlink’s extra-point kick failed. The drive took all of 52 seconds. Teerlink’s, kick off skirted out of bounds on the Rattlers 35 yard line. The Rattlers drove to the Bulldogs 39 yard line as time expired in the period.
The Bulldog defense came up big to begin the second period as they held the Rattlers on fourth down to take over on their 31 yard line. The Bulldogs sputtered and were forced to punt. A good punt return by the Rattlers was negated by another holding call giving the Rattlers a first and ten from their own 47 yard line. Rattler Q.B. Zack Arave hit tall wide out Marcus Parker for 39 yards to the Bulldogs 14 yard line. After three plays the Rattlers were facing a fourth and goal from the Bulldog two yard line. Arave fumbled on the goal line giving the Bulldogs a first down on their one yard line. Bowler ran for four giving Q.B. Leavitt room to breathe. Two Leavitt passes to Kilmer went incomplete forcing another punt for the Bulldogs. Leavitt’s punt was downed on the ‘Dawgs 41 yard line. Arave got 14 yards on a keeper for a first and ten for the Rattlers on the ‘Dawgs 27 yard line. Arave went off tackle on a keeper but they were hit for their third holding penalty of the half moving the ball back to their 40 yard line. Not to be denied, Arave hit Parker for 40 yards and a Rattler touchdown. The point after kick was good cutting the ‘Dawgs lead to 13-7. The Bulldogs began their third drive of the period from their own 20 yard line with 2:38 remaining. Bowler went off tackle for 19 yards giving the Bulldogs a first on their 39 yard line. Leavitt bobbled the ensuing hike and a Rattler lineman scooped the ball out of the air and returned it to ‘Dawgs 23 yard marker. The Bulldogs seemed to be in position to lose their lead after an Arave pass went 16 yards to the Bulldogs six. The Bulldog defense stiffened dropping the Rattlers for a two yard loss. Arave got three on a keeper but was dropped for five yards on a keeper on a huge play by Teerlink. Bulldog Coach Chris Sawyers called time out to regroup his defense. Arave’s fourth down pass went incomplete giving the Bulldogs the ball on their own ten with 58 seconds remaining in the half. Bowler went 13 yards on two runs and 15 more yards were tacked on by a hit by an overzealous Rattler. The half ended shortly thereafter with the ‘Dawgs on top 13-7. The story of the game to this point was Bulldog offense in the first period and their defense holding the quick Rattlers to seven points in the second period. Bowler had 71 yards rushing in the half.
The Rattlers received the third quarter kickoff and marched down field in a sustained 10 play drive aided by a 15 yard personal foul penalty on the Bulldogs to knot the score at 13-13 each. The P.A.T. kick failed. The Rattler drive consumed approximately seven minutes of the period. The Bulldogs took the Rattler kick off on their five yard line and returned it to their own 25. Bowler went off tackle for 13 yards for a first and ten on their 37. Three more Bulldog rushes set up a Leavitt pass to Teerlink for 38 yards and a touchdown. Teerlink’s P.A.T. was good moving the Bulldogs back in front 20-13. The Rattlers began their next drive on their 25 yard line but were stuffed by the Bulldogs and had to punt. The Bulldogs got good field position at the Mojave 47 to begin their drive with 1:40 remaining in the period. Bowler quick hitter went for 12 yards and a first down for the ‘Dawgs on the 35. Bowler got five more to the 30 yard line. Dallen Carnesecca gave Bowler a break but was held for no gain. The quarter ended with the ‘Dawgs still on top 20-13.
Leavitt’s pass to begin the final period was intercepted giving the Rattlers a first and ten on their own 34 yard line. Not to be outdone Bulldog Cristian Aguirre intercepted Arave’s pass on the 50 yard line. Bowler ran for six followed by a 14 yard keeper by Leavitt giving the Bulldogs a first down on the Rattlers 30 yard marker. Two runs by Bowler to the 22 and a Leavitt keeper gave the Bulldogs another first and ten. Three plays later after a Leavitt sack the ‘Dawgs were facing a fourth and 14 from the Mojave 25 yard line. With the game on the line Coach Sawyers called time out to steady his Bulldog squad. Leavitt’s pass fell incomplete and the Rattlers took over. A three yard run and two incomplete passes forced a Rattler punt. Mojave’s punt fell dead on their own 48 yard line giving good field position to the Bulldogs with only 4:10 remaining in the game. Three consecutive carries by Bowler and a keeper by Leavitt set up a first and ten at the Rattlers 36 yard line. A bad center snap over Leavitt’s head gave the Rattlers a first on their 46 yard line. A short pass and a Bulldog personal foul set up a first and ten for the Rattlers. Two plays later Arave hit his receiver in the end zone for six to close the gap to 20-19. The extra-point kick was good and we had a new ball game with 1:55 remaining. The Bulldogs would not sit back and play conservative ball and went right after the Rattlers defensive backs. Leavitt hit Teerlink on the Rattlers 36 with 17 seconds remaining. Leavitt was sacked on the next play for a loss of nine yards. Leavitt’s final pass fell incomplete forcing the Bulldogs and Rattlers into overtime. Overtime rules give each team the opportunity to score from the ten yard line. The Rattlers won the toss and had the first chance to score. An incomplete pass and two runs set up a field goal try for the Rattlers from the five yard line. The attempt went wide as the Bulldog faithful went wild in the stands. It was Bowler time as he carried for three of the final four plays bulling over from the three for the score. 11 players in white went wild as 11 others in green walked silently off the field. The Bulldogs were on the long end of a 26-20 win. Bowler rushed for 133 yards on 24 carries to lead the Bulldogs. Leavitt passed for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Teerlink had three receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. “It was an ugly win but we will take it,” said Coach Sawyers. “We ran well but stuttered at times. Our defense came up big and kept us in the game. I credit our team for holding on and getting the victory. Tomorrow its back to the basics,” added Sawyers. The Bulldogs will face Faith Lutheran High School next Friday evening in the ‘Dawg Pound.