It took a huge defensive effort Friday night by the Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs to put away the Del Sol H.S. Dragons, insuring a 28-27 Dawg victory. The Dragons had victory in their grasp with a first down on the Bulldogs 5 yard line with one minute to go in the game. The Bulldogs responded with two straight sacks to close down Del Sol. Linebacker Wyatt Delano broke through to nail the Dragons quarterback and lineman Wyatt Hillius followed up with a sack of his own to seal the win.
The first period of the game was a zero affair as the offenses could not get on track. The Dawgs jumped out to a 14-0 advantage midway through the second period. Q.B. Mebs Hollingshead scored on a keeper from 20 yards out to give the Dawgs the lead. The Point after pass failed. Delano added a 12 yard run for a T.D. and Hollingshead hit Cameron Noel for the two point conversion. The Dragons roared back on a 50 yard sprint from Q.B. Damani Wilkes cutting the Dawgs lead. Penalties continued to stop Bulldog drives giving the Dragons another opportunity to score from one yard out tying the game at 14-14. Bulldog defensive back and kick returner Jason Abbott quickly put the Dawgs on top again 20-14 with a 70 yard kickoff return. The half ended with the Dawgs up 20-14.
The Dragons took advantage of the Bulldog defensive laps to score from two yard out to take a 21-20 lead after three periods of play. Penalties again held the Bulldogs offense back in the period. Del Sol increased their lead to 27-20 with six minutes left in the game on a short run for the T.D. The Bulldogs showed their mettle driving downfield allowing Delano to take it in from 7 yards out. The P.A.T. pass from Hollingshead to Noel was good setting up the final heroics from the Dawgs defense. Final score Bulldogs 28-27 over the host Del Sol Dragons. Delano led all rushers with 90 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns despite a lingering ankle injury. Hollingshead finished with 7-14 for 85 yards.
“I’m proud of our kids,” said Bulldog head coach Matt Woods. “Despite adversity, they never gave up. These kids never will, they just fight to the end. We need to cut down on our penalties which are cutting down on our drives,” added Woods. “We have two weeks off before facing a tough 4A Cimarron-Memorial squad in two weeks which gives us a chance to rest the kids.”