The Eagles finished their season with a 9-2 record.
Bartlett avenged last year’s loss to Woodsboro by doing exactly what the Eagles did to them last year.
The Bulldogs took advantage of turnovers and missed opportunities by the Eagles and turned them into points. The Bulldogs also used a running game that chewed off precious time from the game clock, keeping Woodsboro’s potent offense on the sideline.
“Too many turnovers and too many missed tackles,” said Coach Wade Miller. “If we had tackled better, they would not have had the ball as long. We had the lead at halftime and we turned it over while we were driving, then we turned it over on a kickoff right after they scored. You cannot do that in the playoffs and expect to win. I thought it was a very even game as far as both teams, unfortunately, we made the mistakes tonight.”
Bartlett took the opening kickoff and immediately established their running game. The Bulldogs drove 50 yards to the Eagle 20-yard line before the Eagle defense made its first big stop of the night.
Facing a fourth down and less than one yard, senior lineman Justin Fierova stopped the Bulldog runner dead in his tracks.
That momentum would be short lived for the Eagles. On their very first play from scrimmage, a pass went off the hands of Jordan Bradley and was intercepted by the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs took advantage of a short field and scored the game’s first touchdown.
Garrett Horner took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 43 yards to give his team great field position.
Four plays later, Trent “T-Mo” Moses scored from nine yards out. Lionel Brown hit Jacob Nesloney with a short pass for the two-point conversion, giving the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
The Bulldogs came right back and drove 49 yards in four plays before scoring from seven yards out to take a 14-8 lead after one quarter of play.
The Eagles answered again with a seven-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a Jonathan Flores 16-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14-14.
After holding the Bulldogs on their next series, the Eagles executed a brilliant 54-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Jonathan Dablegott. David Carmichael corralled a bad snap on the extra point try and ran it in for two points giving Woodsboro the lead 22-14.
The Bulldogs drove deep into Eagle territory again, but Fierova delivered a solid hit jarring the ball loose and he alertly recovered the ball.
The Bulldogs would score once more to cut the lead to 22-20 at halftime.
The third quarter brought nothing but disaster for the Eagles.
On their opening drive, a 56-yard touchdown run by Brown was negated by a holding penalty. The Eagles fumbled on their very next play, and the Bulldogs turned that into points.
The Eagles then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Bulldogs took advantage with another score giving them a 35-22 lead after three quarters of play.
The Bulldogs opened the fourth quarter using an 11-play, 53-yard drive to take a commanding 41-22 lead.
Carmichael brought the Eagles to 41-28 with a 20-yard touchdown run, but Bartlett answered with another 11-play, 53-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard run for a score putting the game away at 48-28 with 3:47 left.
“Obviously we wanted to go further than this,” said Coach Miller. “I told our kids that the only team that will not feel the way we do tonight is the state champion. I am really proud of all of our kids, especially our seniors. They did not have to accept me these last two years, but they did, and they have played their hearts out – 9-2 is a good season; we just were not ready for it to end.
“I am really looking forward to our future here. Our JV kids played a lot of bigger schools and gained valuable experience. Our eighth-grade team had one loss all year. Our seventh-grade team also got a full year of playing time, and you cannot substitute experience. Winning is contagious and it makes our kids and our fans want to come out, so our plan is to continue working hard and winning. Our whole athletic program is awesome. We are off to a great start, and it is all our kids. I have told them if they are out here playing, we will always have a chance to win. Thank you to our whole community for your endless support. Believe me, our kids notice it.”