After a rocky first quarter the Carl Junction Bulldogs started their season off with a bang, routing the Willard Tigers 39-13 on Friday at Bulldog Stadium.
Things looked bleak for the Bulldogs (1-0, 1-0 COC) after a pair of failed drives in the first quarter and Willard (0-1, 0-1 COC) getting on the board first with 10:28 to go in the first half, on a 4-yard run by Tyler Janes, the point after kick failed and the Tigers were up 6-0.
It was the last time Willard would have the lead.
Carl Junction answered back quickly, sitting at 3rd and 10 on their own 28, quarterback Kyler Perry connected with Cody Hollingsworth for a 72-yard touchdown pass and after the extra point kick, the Bulldogs were up 7-6.
The Tigers tried to answer back, and a 50-yard run by Janes put Willard in a good position to score, but the next pass was picked off by Arlen Wakefield to put a stake in the heart of the drive.
The Bulldogs would go on to score again at 5:24 left in the half after a deep pass and a personal foul call let Perry rumble in from 2 yards out. The kick failed and it was 13-6.
The next score came at 26 seconds left in the half with a four yard run by Perry with another failed kick, leaving the score 19-6.
With 14 seconds left in the half Willard made a near-fatal error, by attempting to run a play rather than simply take a knee and let the clock expire, a fumble was recovered by Carl Junction and after two failed attempts to drive in, the Bulldogs had to settle for a 26-yard field goal, leaving the score at 22-6 at the half.
A pair of penalties — pass interference and a personal foul, hit to the head — put the Tigers within striking distance, and with 2:51 left in the third, Owen Bushnell rumbled in for a 4-yard run, the point after was good and the score sat at 22-13.
Seconds later, Aiden Bard would take it to the house with a 90-yard kickoff return, the kick was good and the score with 2:36 left in the period was 29-13.
With 11:41 to go in the game, the Bulldog’s Tony Stewart busted through for a 15-yard run, and after the kick the score sat at 36-13.
The Tigers attempted to respond, but with 9:51 left in the game Chance Benford picked off Janes, but on the first play from scrimmage a bad snap left the Bulldogs with second and 19, and the Bulldogs were forced to punt. One booming kick later and Carl Junction downed the ball on the 1-yard , and the Tigers were starting with their back to the wall.
With just over three minutes to go, the Bulldogs had a touchdown called back on an illegal shift, and had to settle for a 27 yard field goal, for the final score of the game leaving the contest at 39-13.
Carl Junction travels to Carthage (1-0) in Week 2.