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Bulldogs bite Lions, 41-19
by James Ratcliff
Sep 22, 2011 | 234 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENEDY – The last time the Three Rivers Bulldogs and the Kenedy Lions met on the football field, the rain played a significant factor as last season’s matchup was cancelled as a result of torrential downpours. This year’s matchup, however, was seen through to the final buzzer. With a strong first half showing setting the tone for the contest, the Bulldogs used their physicality and potent running attack to hand the Lions a 35-21 loss. “We had a tough first half,” said Kenedy head coach Lin Havron. “Our defense was on the field the entire first half. We were hanging in there. We made some adjustments and had a lot more possession in the second half. It was a tale of two halves. We had our chances but couldn’t capitalize.”

The first half saw only two scores, one in each quarter and both by the Bulldogs. The 1st quarter’s score came with 5:43 on the clock as junior running back Wesley Guzman scored on a 2-yard run, with the extra point attempt failing as a result of a bad snap. The 2nd quarter’s only score came with 8:44 until halftime as Guzman scored his second rushing touchdown of the night, this time from 5 yards away. Guzman ran in the 2-point conversion as well to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, the Lions showed their resilience despite the scoreboard indicating otherwise. With 10:24 left in the 3rd quarter, Three Rivers senior running back Gage Crawford took off on a 20-yard run for a touchdown. Junior running back and kicker Zenon Sanchez’s PAT was good, giving the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead. The Lions would avert the potential shutout with 41 seconds left in the 3rd quarter as junior quarterback Rolie Zepeda found senior running back Deon Mayberry on a 20-yard pass for a Kenedy touchdown. Junior receiver and kicker Weston Hallmark added the PAT to cut the lead to 21-7 heading into the 4th quarter.

In the 4th quarter, both teams went back and forth with their scores. With 8:02 left, Guzman scored on 40-yard run and Sanchez’s kick extended the lead 28-7. The Lions responded with 5:53 on the clock as Zepeda connect with senior receiver Emilio Mendoza on a 10-yard touchdown pass. Junior lineman Vincenta Barrera kicked the PAT to cut the lead in half at 28-14. On the ensuing kickoff, just nine seconds later, the Bulldogs put the game out of reach as Guzman returned the kickoff 48 yards and into the end zone for the Bulldogs’ final score of the game, with Sanchez adding the PAT. The Lions refused to give in as Zepeda connected with senior receiver Tristan Mejia on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds left to play. Barrera’s ensuing kick was good, putting the score at 35-21 as time expired.

At the end of the game, the Bulldogs gained 292 yards of total offense, with 277 rushing and 15 passing. The Lions, by comparison, gained 303 yards of total offense, with 80 on the ground and 223 through the air. The flags thrown during the game were aplenty, as Three Rivers was penalized 11 times for 100 yards and Kenedy was penalized 9 times for 105 yards. In terms of turnovers, the Bulldogs lost two fumbles while the Lions lost 3 fumbles. Neither team threw an interception. Even in defeat, Havron praised his team’s efforts. “We found a way to hang around,” said Havron. “We did a good job protecting in the second half. Our defense played pretty good . We’re getting better.”

This week the Lions will travel to Yorktown to face the Wildcats, a team that, like Three Rivers, is very run-oriented and explosive offensively. “We know what they’re doing, it’s no secret,” said Havron about Yorktown. “It’s got to be a team effort and we’ve just got to swarm to the ball.” Kickoff in Yorktown is set for Friday, September 23 at 7:30 PM.
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