The injury woes continue for the Douglas Bulldogs who suited up 19 players for their game with the Silver City Colts Friday night and finished with 14 in a 45-14 loss at Armando de Lucas Stadium.
Friday’s game marks the midway point of the season for the Bulldogs, 2-3, who have the next week off and return to action Oct. 4, hosting Pueblo in the conference opener. It will also be homecoming that night for Douglas.
Ten players were on the sidelines when the game began Friday, nursing a wide variety of injuries. Benjamin Huish, who last week was moved from the front line to fullback, was injured on the opening series of the game and would not return. Jesus Cruz soon followed later in the quarter. He too, would not return.
Silver City meanwhile, scored once in the first quarter and twice in the second, taking a 21-0 lead.
With 4:22 remaining in the half, Bulldog quarter back Trey Rose hit Alejandro Molina for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Joaquin Escalante’s successful extra point made the score 21-7.
Silver City came right back on the ensuing possession and scored taking a 28-7 lead.
The game took an ugly turn in the closing seconds of the second quarter when a Silver City player threw a punch at a Douglas player, which led to three players from the Colts bench running on to the field. All four players were ejected from the game because of the incident and must now sit out the next game.
The Bulldogs last bright spot of the night came in the third quarter. Faced with a second and 18 from their own 10, Rose hurled a pass to Molina, who caught it and broke free from several Silver City defenders for what ended up being a 90-yard touchdown pass, making the score 28-14.
According to Douglas High School records, that pass is now tied for the second longest in score history. Rose’s cousin, Tony Cortez Rose has a 99-yard TD pass to Bill Salzbrenner in 1975 and Rudy Garcia hit Robby Huish for a 90-yard TD pass in 1985. What’s more ironic is Trey’s 90-yard pass tops his dad David, who had a 86-yard TD pass to Jose Montano in 1988.
Silver City would go on to score 17 more points the rest of the game and Bulldog players Raul Pizarro, Giancarlo Margallian, and Juan Gonzalez would all leave the game with injuries and would not return.
After the game, Douglas’ head coach Hunter Long admitted he never saw this coming and is somewhat dumbfounded by the rash of injuries plaguing his team.
“I have an infirmary on the sidelines,” he said. “It’s bad. We came into the season in shape, strong and ready to go. This hit us out of nowhere.”
The coach said it will be determined in the coming days how bad some of these latest injuries are.
“I understand injuries happen, it’s a violent sport,” he said. “What’s happening to us is almost plaguish.”
The coach admits the bye week is coming at a crucial time for his team as they need to regroup and try to get healthy for the second half of the season.
The coach added he was proud of his players for the control they showed when the incident happened on the field that led to the ejection of four Silver players and no Douglas players.
“We’ve been preaching high character, high discipline since we got here,” he said. “I’m not surprised. Thankfully, our guys didn’t do anything stupid and kept their cool and played football.”
The coach is hoping the bad juju that’s hanging over this team at the moment will disappear during the bye week and things can get better when Douglas hosts Pueblo on Oct. 4.