Priceville 2-0 after dramatic winPublished 1:11pm Monday, September 9, 2013
Special to the Enquirer
FLORENCE – Priceville traveled to Rogers High School Friday night and promptly scored first in their opening region game of the season with a 28-20 victory.
This is the first time the Bulldogs have started 2-0 since 2003, when the school was still ineligible for the playoffs and played primarily a 1A schedule. It’s also the first time they’ve ever been 1-0 in region play.
After a fumble during a punt return, the Pirates gave Priceville the ball on Rogers 32-yard line. The Bulldog offense drove the ball down the field, finished with Kaleb Barker’s touchdown pass to Luke Mason.
Rogers answered with a score with a score of its own in the first quarter, but it was upstaged by an interception return of over 60 yards by Priceville’s Michael Whitefield.
Rogers defense stepped up the pressure and forced Priceville into several punts and an interception.
The Pirates then scored with a couple of minutes to go before halftime to tie the game at 14-14.
Both teams came out from the half playing aggressive. Rogers appeared to take control while the Bulldog offense stalled. The second drive was capped by a sack of Priceville’s quarterback.
Rogers’ offense rallied to take the lead for the first time but missed the extra point kick after penalties forced a longer kick attempt.
The next series was the turning point of the game, as the Bulldogs went on a 73-yard drive for a score. Behind great blocking, Barker asserted himself and willed his team to win by rushing five times for 34 yards. He also completed three passes on as many attempts for 39 yards.
His the last pass to Cody Barber was a 24-yard touchdown completion. Priceville took the lead 21-20 after Lamar Birch’s extra point and did not give it back.
Priceville defense led by Jaycee May made a sack to stop the Pirates again. May, a senior lineman, played much of the game for the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball and was key to stopping the Rogers run game. He was also instrumental in the long drives the offense had in the second half.
The Bulldogs last drive was much like the previous with a run and pass attack. Zack Smith ran for 46 yards on four carries in this 75-yard drive. Again this drive, Barker rushed five times gaining 24 yards and then connected with Benjamin Patterson from the five-yard line for a touchdown, making the score 28-20 after the extra point kick by Birch.
The Rogers Pirates had one last chance to tie the game with 1:49 seconds left in the game. The drive ended when Priceville’s Kyle Haynes intercepted the pass attempt from the Rogers quarterback, sealing the victory.
Priceville’s football program will continue in their quest for a playoff run when they face the Brooks Lions Friday at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.