Bulldogs stay undefeated with 44-8 win over Indians

HAPPY CAMP – Coming into Friday night’s game, the Happy Camp Indians (4-2, 5-3) had won four straight. The Butte Valley Bulldogs (6-0, 8-0) hadn’t lost since the final game of last season. On paper, it looked like it would be a tight contest, and it was for about a quarter and a half.

The Indians got the first break of the game, when Sean McDowell recovered a fumble at the Bulldog 36-yard line. However, Butte Valley’s defense forced a turnover on downs, and the Bulldog offense went to work from its own 33-yard-line.

This time, the Dogs took care of the ball, and went 67 yards to pay dirt. Fifty-seven of the yards were covered on a Colten Struble to Will Gentry TD pass. Struble then threw to Bobby Vaughan for a 2-point conversion, giving the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead, with 8:19 left in the first quarter.

About seven minutes later, Gustavo Lopez rushed 24 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion failed, leaving Butte Valley with a 14-0 lead.

Eleven seconds into the second quarter, Happy Camp answered. Charley Reed connected with James Simmons for a 45-yard TD pass. Justin Wright powered in for the 2-point conversion, making the score 14-8.

With just under nine minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Bulldogs faced a fourth and three in the red zone. Gentry picked up the first down on a reverse and a bit more—his second touchdown of the night. Struble and Vaughan combined again on a pass play for the 2-point conversion, making it 22-8.

The Indians were forced to punt on their next possession, and the Dogs partially blocked the kick, gaining possession at the Happy Camp 23. Struble hit Lopez with a 16-yard TD strike to up the Bulldogs’ advantage to 28-8, with 4:40 left in the half. The 2-point try failed.

Happy Camp had driven into Bulldogs territory on its next possession, when Indian quarterback Charley Reed suffered an injury to his neck, due to an accidental face mask. The game was delayed several minutes while Reed was immobilized and loaded into an ambulance, amid a silent crowd. Good news arrived late in the fourth quarter, when Reed’s father said that it looked like his son would be fine.

Via text on Saturday morning, Reed said, “…it’s really sore…but I should be back for Big Valley.”

Shortly after play resumed, the Indians fumbled the ball, and Butte Valley recovered on its own 17-yard-line. With 50 ticks on the clock, Struble scored from six yards out. Gentry ran for the 2-point conversion, and the Bulldogs led 36-8, going into the intermission.

Neither team found the end zone in the third quarter, although both teams were able to move the ball.

With 7:59 to play in the game, the Bulldogs made it 38-8, when Tyler Coltrin sacked the Indian QB in the end zone for a safety.

The last score of the game came on a 65-yard interception return by Gentery, with 4:01 to play, making the final score 44-8.

The Bulldogs play their regular season finale next Friday against the Liberty Christian Patriots (1-4, 3-5) for Homecoming.

The Indians go to Big Valley (4-2, 6-2) next Friday to battle for 3rd place in the North division of the California 8-Man football League.

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