The Trenton Bulldogs, down 26-21 to Polo, with the Panthers driving into the red zone on Friday night, needed to get the football away from PHS without points scored, drive the football down the field, and attempt to pull victory out of the jaws of defeat. Call it job accomplished for Trenton, although the story behind the final five minutes from Bob Shearer Stadium may be one told for many years.
First things first, Trenton needed the football, and the defense forced a fumble and recovered just inside the west sideline at Polo, getting the ball at the 6 yard line. However, with new life, a Trenton offense scuffling without leading rushing Austin Burkeybile struggled to move the football. Facing a 4th-and-8 early in the game-winning drive, the Bulldogs, with no time outs and struggling to slow down Polo’s Gunnar Martin, rolled the dice from the ten yard line:
Tom Johnson had the play-by-play call. More difficult running, combined with a penalty, pushed Trenton back to the 12 yard line. Another fourth-down play commenced:
With momentum, Trenton was able to move the football more consistently, eventually reaching the “Red Zone”. However, the lack of time outs and the time moving within one minute to go caused for stressful moments for the Bulldogs, who, facing a 3rd and goal from the 6 yard line, following a 5 yard illegal procedure penalty, went to the air to try to grab the win:
Trenton opened the scoring 1:32 into the first quarter, with Lathan Croy and Colton Colston connecting for the first catch of a big night:
Croy had a 39 yard run, just moments after Polo fumbled away the kickoff, pushing the score to 14-0. Polo, over the course of the night, wore on Trenton’s defense with its hard running style, as Martin had three touchdowns as part of 26 straight points from the mid first quarter to late third quarter.
Trenton ended the scoring drought just four seconds into the final quarter, with Hunter Dugan scoring the first of his two touchdowns in the final frame, this one on 5 yard rush, to make the score 26-21.
Polo’s all-state running back Gunnar Martin had his usual superb numbers, dominating the third quarter of play in racking up 308 yards and three scores. For Trenton, junior quarterback Lathan Croy connected on 11 of 13 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 74 yards and a score. Colston made huge catches all night, reeling in 7 for 187 yards. Playing important second half minutes for Austin Burkeybile, Carson Radcliff had 48 yards on the ground for THS. Burkeybile, tackled on a long second quarter run, re-aggravated his foot injury from two weeks ago. Trying to play on the injury in the third quarter, another tackle put Burkeybile down again, ending his night before the final quarter.
Trenton, now 5-2 on the season and a perfect 5-0 in the Grand River Conference, will play in what looks to be the game to decide the GRC title, Friday, October 7th at C.F. Russell Stadium against the Maysville Wolverines (Hot Country Z 101.7 / KGOZ-TV). Maysville, a 36-22 winner over Putnam County, improved to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in the GRC. Polo, 4-3 overall, and 2-3 in the GRC, will play at Milan next Friday night (KTTN FM 92.3).
Other scores from Friday, September 30, 2016 were:
Gallatin 21, Princeton 6 (Game broadcast on KTTN FM 92.3)
Milan 18, South Harrison 16 (Milan’s first win of the season)
Penney 34, Lawson 33
Mid-Buchanan 45, West Platte 29
East Buchanan 40, North Platte 6
Lathrop 56, Plattsburg 21
Maryville 39, Smithville 0
Lafayette 35, Cameron 8
Benton 36, LeBlond 15
Chillicothe 42, Savannah 7
Marceline 49, Salisbury 0
Scotland County 20, Knox County 14
Westran 55, Schuyler County 7
Fayette 52, Harrisburg 6
Monroe City 46, Paris 6
Lexington 49, Carrollton 7
Richmond 53, Holden 27
Higginsville 49, Knob Noster 0
Macon 17, Brookfield 14
Palmyra 16, Centralia 0
South Shelby 48, Highland 0
Clark County 42, Louisiana 12
Worth County 94, Pattonsburg 50
Stanberry 76, North Shelby 14
St. Joseph Christian 58, North-West Nodaway 0
North Andrew 68, Albany 12
King City 78, Braymer 28
Stewartsville 68, East Atchison 52
Southwest Livingston 34, Rock Port 28
Platte Valley 65, DeKalb 16