Bulldogs drop yet another oneBy Bruce Whetten
TUCSON- For the second straight week the Douglas Bulldogs allowed a halftime lead to slip away as they dropped their sixth straight game Friday night falling 28-19 to the Palo Verde Titans.
Friday’s loss also guaranteed the Bulldogs 0-6, their first losing season since Coach Dick Keith took over four years ago.
Bulldog running back Grant Watkins made his presence felt early on scoring the first two times Douglas had the ball.
The Titans entered the game have been shutout the last three games and had scored just 31 total points all season.
Palo Verde went three and out on its first possession of the night eventually punting the ball over to Douglas.
Watkins wasted little time in giving his team the momentum taking the handoff from quarterback Blaze Rose and busting free for a 58-yard TD run. Rose’s extra point gave the Dogs a 7-0 lead.
Watkins then picked off a Palo Verde pass on the ensuing possession and minutes later took a screen pass from Rose and broke free for a 60-yard score. Rose’s extra point was blocked as Douglas led 13-0 less than eight minutes into the game.
Things then settled down for both teams as neither team could capitalize on the others mistakes.
Leo Montano picked off a Titan pass which Douglas could not convert into points and a Rose 27 yard field goal attempt ended up being a fake which Palo Verde didn’t and stopped as the Bulldogs went in at halftime up 13-0.
Douglas took the opening drive of the second half but was unable to move the ball and ended up punting it back to Palo Verde.
The Titans took that drive and aided by a fake punt that did result in a first down eventually did score cutting the Dogs lead to 13-7 ending a 15 quarter scoring drought.
The Bulldogs took the ensuing possession and did score a touchdown only to have the score nullified by a penalty. Douglas would eventually fumble the ball away and the Titans would later take advantage of the turnover scoring on a 65-yard run. The successful extra point gave Palo Verde a 14-13 lead.
Palo Verde would score two more times in the fourth increasing its lead to 28-13.
With 2:25 left in the game Fernando Rojas scored on a 14-yard pass from Rose. The Bulldogs went for two but were stopped leaving them down nine, 28-19.
Douglas recovered an onside kick but the Titan defense refused to let them get a first down and the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs sealing their fate for the night.
The game took over three hours to play.
Douglas finished with 275 yards in total offense with 138 coming through the air and 137 on the ground.
Rose was seven of 21 in passing with two TD’s. Watkins had two receptions for 88 yards and a score; Mark Romero two for 21; Matt Nelson one for five; Fernando Chacon one for 10 and Rojas one for 14 with a TD.
Watkins ran the ball eight times for 119 yards and had a touchdown; Rose was 11 for 19 and Dylan Guerrero had nine carries for minus one yard.
The Bulldogs have three home games remaining and one road game. Douglas will host Catalina this week in their annual D-Day game. Then its Pueblo Oct. 12 and Bisbee Oct. 19 on what will be Mom and Dad’s night for the DHS seniors.
Douglas then closes out the season Oct. 26 at Cienega.
Douglas’ freshmen team beat Palo Verde’s freshmen 50-6 Sept. 27 in Tucson.
Coaches for Douglas said the freshmen Bulldogs put together their best game of the season on both offense and defense en route to earning their first win of the season.
The Bulldogs got off to a fast start receiving the opening kickoff and scoring just two minutes into the game on a 10 yard touchdown run by Alexis Medina. The successful two-point conversion pass from Ernesto Loreto to Medina gave Douglas an early 8-0 lead.
For the second week in a row the defense played outstanding, the coaches added. Led by middle linebacker Rodrigo Cornidez, the Bulldogs multiple times had tackles for losses resulting in third and long situations that the Palo Verde offense was not capable of converting.
On their second possession the Bulldogs quickly scored their second touchdown on a 10 yard touchdown pass from Loreto to wide receiver Jacob Ortega. Medina added the extra point making it 15-0. The Douglas defense again held strong giving their offense the ball back this time on a blocked punt by Andy Diaz giving their offense the ball at the Palo Verde 35 yard line. Douglas quickly added another score with Mark Perez finishing off the drive with a one yard touchdown run. Medina again added the extra point making it 22-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Bulldogs continued to roll in the second quarter. Starting at their own 15 yard line Loreto connected with Ortega on a play action pass that would lead to an 85 yard touchdown. Medina‘s extra point was again successful giving Douglas a 29-0 lead. The Bulldogs lone mistake of the night came from a mishandled snap resulting in a fumble. With Palo Verde recovering the ball and only 30 yards to go, they were able to score a touchdown on a three yard run by their quarterback. The two-point conversion was stuffed making the score 29-6 at halftime.
The second half the Bulldogs finished strong with three more touchdown runs: the first, a 20 yard touchdown run by Perez. That was followed by a 21 yard scamper from Rodrigo Cornidez, and finally a two yard touchdown run from Medina. Medina would be successful on all three extra points giving Douglas its 50-6 win.
Head coach Daniel Ellsworth said he was very pleased with the overal team effort.
“It was our most complete game of the year and we look forward to carrying this momentum into next week’s game against Catalina,” he said.
Stats for the game showed Douglas with 277 total yards in offense with 153 passing yards and 124 coming on the ground.
Eli Villasenor had four carries for nine yards; Cornidez six carries for 36 yards and a TD; Medina three carries for 17 yards and two TD’s; Perez six carries for 91 yards and two TD’s. Loreto was four of five in passing for 124 yards and two scores. Receiving, Ortega had four catches for 124 yards and two TD’s.