The Virgin Valley High School Bulldogs held their own against 4A Cimarron-Memorial Friday night for two and a half periods before the Spartans speed stunned the Bulldogs with two long touchdowns to win 42-24.
The Spartans drew first blood putting points on the board five minutes into the game. Quarterback Branden Smith went off tackle for 75 yards outracing the Bulldog secondary for the T.D. and a 7-0 lead. The Spartans attempted to catch the Dawgs off guard with an onside kick, but the Dawgs recovered on their 45 yard line. Bulldog Jason Abbott, covering for the injured Wyatt Delano, carried the load for the Dawgs going the final 12 yards for a T.D. The Dawgs two point conversion by Abbott from two yards out was good giving the Dawgs an 8-7 lead to end the first period.
The Bulldogs attempted an onside kick of their own but failed giving the Spartans good field position. The Bulldogs held the Spartans on downs setting up the next Dawgs drive starting on their 46 yard line. Penalties and a 26 yard scamper by Abbott gave the Dawgs a first and goal from the 9 yard line. Bulldog Q.B. Mebs Hollingshead hit wide out Will Barnum for a T.D. The point after run by Kyler Sudweeks increased the Dawgs lead to 16-7 four minutes into the second period. The Spartans retaliated with two scores to close the first half. Spartan Jose Carrasco showed his receiving skills on two long completions. His last catch set up a first down on the Bulldogs two yard line. Running back Jordan Norwood busted threw for the score giving the Spartans a 21-16 advantage at the break.
The Spartans received the kickoff to begin the third period and wasted no time on their first drive with scoring from 31 yards out on a pass from Smith to Carrasco. The extra point was good giving the Spartans a 28-16 advantage. The Bulldogs responded with a drive of their own starting on their 26 yard line behind the running of Wyatt Anderson in to replace Abbott who was hurt on a personal foul hit. Hollingshead hit a streaking Tanner Fielding for 46 yards with Abbott finishing from 15 yards out. The game was still on, as the score cut the Spartans lead to 28-24 with 7:45 left in the third period. The Bulldogs on side kick attempt failed giving the Spartans field position on their 48 yard line. Three plays later Carrasco was in the end zone on a 31 yard strike giving the Spartans a 35-24 advantage. The Spartans forced the Bulldogs into a four play and out setting up a first and ten from their 18 yard line. Norwood brought the large Spartan fan base to their feet by running through the Bulldogs defense on his way to an 82 yard score. The P.A.T. was good giving the Spartans a 42-24 lead after three periods. The fourth period was all defensive stand-off as neither team could mount a scoring drive. “It wasn’t a pretty game,” said Coach Matt Woods. “We did not tackle well and they out coached us. We had a chance to make some plays but couldn’t finish. We need to get better with Boulder City coming in next week.” Hollingshead passed for 271 yards on 13-28 passes averaging almost 21 yards a pass. Jake Hampsten had 98 yards on 3 receptions followed by Barnum with 74 yards. Abbott led all rushers with 55 yards despite going out early with a possible concussion. Anderson led the defense with 8 tackles. The Bulldogs season record fell to 3-1 with Boulder City coming into town Friday Sept. 27. See the game preview of next week’s game in a separate column.