By Chris Boothe
BUFFALO – Everything was clicking to start the 2018 season for the Crockett Bulldogs. The defense was swarming and the offense was explosive. Early in the second quarter the Bulldogs held a 21-0 lead and looked well on their way to trouncing a talented Buffalo Bison team to open the season.
Then the Bison would roar to life by running off 27-straight points, capped off by a six-yard touchdown run from James Phillips to give Buffalo a 27-21 lead. Stunned but not out of it, Crockett would respond, getting a bruising one-yard touchdown run from Malik Johnson to regain the lead with 9:53 remaining in regulation.
Crockett’s comeback hopes would be dashed just a minute later as quarterback Colton Green rushed for the game winning touchdown with 8:43 left in the fourth quarter. From there the Bison defense would clamp down and halt the Bulldogs explosive offense, and hold on for a 33-28 win.
Things looked great early for the Bulldogs. Junior quarterback Jordan Bedford connected with senior playmaker Alton Owens for a 35-yard touchdown strike. Bedford kept the big plays coming in the opening half by connecting for a 50-yard touchdown pass with Allen Horace, before reconnecting with Owens for a 72-yard touchdown to give Crockett a commanding 21-0 lead just 17 minutes into the season.
Then it would be the legs of Phillips that helped Buffalo jump back to life. Phillips rushed for touchdowns from 40 yards and four yards respectively in the first half to cut into the Bulldogs lead. The second touchdown came with just 49 seconds remaining in the first half, giving the Bison all of the momentum going into the second half.
Buffalo wasted no time getting into the end zone to start the second half as Green was able to dish a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamaul Randle, tying the game at 21 apiece. Buffalo would take their first lead of the night on six-yard run by Phillips two minutes later.
For Crockett, it was a heartbreaking loss after an offseason of promise and hope. The Bulldogs were able to show the explosiveness many have become accustomed to seeing from a Crockett offense. Now the Bulldogs will look to bounce back on Friday night when they travel to face a former district rival in the Garrison Bulldogs.
Garrison will also be looking for their first win of the year as they suffered a 42-41 setback against Bishop Gorman in what was a thriller to the final whistle.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm from Bulldog Stadium in Garrison on Friday, September 7.
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