Priceville improves to 6-1
Joe Holmes, Sports Correspondent
Priceville ran its record to 6-1 Friday night, capping the season with a 47-12 win over Spring Garden.
The Panthers were no match for Priceville's balanced offensive attack as the Bulldogs marched at ease up the field with a mixture of run and pass.
PHS would strike on its first possession to set the tone for the evening. A 25-yard pass from quarterback Zach Fairbanks to Jon Galbreath set up Dale Taylor's three-yard TD just three minutes into the game. Brad Helton came on to boot Priceville to a 7-0 lead.
Spring Garden answered with a 90-yard touchdown return on the ensuing kickoff, but the Bulldogs bowed up to block the PAT attempt and held the lead 7-6.
From that point on it was all Priceville. Hunter Teague's 23-yard kickoff return put the 'Dogs in business at mid-field. The Bulldog's backfield quartet of Justin Lawson, Teague, Taylor and Cody Allen combined to push the ball to the Spring Garden three-yard-line. From there Taylor picked up his second score of the night. Helton made it 14-6 with 6:05 left in the first.
Galbreath made certain Spring Garden didn't repeat its previous kickoff return, nailing the Panther return man deep. Three plays later, Galbreath picked off a Panther pass attempt.
Priceville's third score came on a half-back pass from Teague to Galbreath from 36 yards out. The PAT attempt sailed wide right and with just 54 seconds left in the opening quarter, the Bulldogs led 20-6.
The Bulldogs would pick up two more scores before the half. Fairbanks' play-action pass to Justin Crow was good from 13 yards out with 2:13 left. The two-point conversion failed leaving the score at 26-6.
With the first-half drawing to a close, the Bulldog defense forced Spring Garden into a fourth-and-long situation. A shanked punt left the 'Dogs with the ball on their own 49 with 1:20 left.
Looking to put the game out of reach, head coach Marty Chambers again dipped into his playbook to pull out a 51-yard, triple-reverse flea flicker pass from Fairbanks to Teague that put six more on the board. Helton's PAT made it 33-6 at the half.
Priceville would score again mid-way of the third on Fairbanks' one-yard QB keeper. Helton's PAT put the 'Dogs up 40-6.
Following an interception by Ryan Mouser, Teague would pick up the final Bulldog score of the year on a four-yard TD plunge. Helton was again true on the PAT for a 47-6 lead as the third-quarter drew to a close.
Spring Garden would score with 8:40 left in the fourth to make the final 47-12.
Chambers said he was proud of the effort his Bulldogs put forth for the night and for the season.
Priceville finished the year at 6-1, losing only to Mississippi powerhouse Alcorn-Central while notching wins against Mount Hope (2), Jacksonville Christian, Spring Garden, Vina and Fayetteville.
Next year, Priceville moves to 2A Region 8 play and will eligible to compete for a spot in the 2004 state playoffs.