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Priceville wraps up play-off spot with win over West Morgan

Priceville hosted county rival and region foe West Morgan for an important game Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

A Bulldog win would mean a home game in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Nov. 8. A loss, on the other hand, would send Priceville on the road.

With a slim two-point triumph, the Priceville Bulldogs will enjoy a play-off opener on their home turf.

Defense dominated the game early on, as both teams struggled to put anything together offensively.

Priceville got on the board first with a six-play, 71-yard drive capped off by a Jerry Burton 18-yard touchdown run with 8:41 left in the second quarter. Burton had three carries for 61 yards during the drive. 

Following the two-point conversion from Wyatt Hurt, the Bulldogs led 7-0.

West Morgan would take advantage of a Priceville fumble late in the second quarter to get the Rebels’ first points of the game. A Glavine Segars touchdown pass to Jakobe Griffin with 12.5 seconds left in the half got West Morgan on the scoreboard. The Rebels converted a two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8 heading into halftime.

The Bulldogs got the ball to open the second half. They went 74 yards in six plays to retake the lead. 

Burton picked up 66 yards on four carries, but it was King who scored from two yards out. After the extra point, Priceville led 15-8.

The Bulldogs extended their lead to 13 with 9:56 left in the game when Burton scored on a 13-yard run. He picked up 61 yards on three carries in the four-play drive.

West Morgan would answer back with a seven-play, 80-yard drive in less than two minutes to cut the Priceville lead to 21-14. The Rebels got a Jakobe Fletcher 37-yard touchdown reception for the score.

The Bulldogs put together their longest drive of the night following the West Morgan score. They held on to the ball for almost six minutes with an 11-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a JJ Vallejo 32-yard field goal with 2:05 remaining in the fourth. 

The score gave Priceville a 10-point lead at 24-14.

The Rebels answered back, however, with a 10-play, 62-yard scoring drive. Adam Lucas punched the ball in from three yards out for the touchdown. Following the two-point conversion, the Bulldogs led 24-22.

With about 40 seconds to go, the Rebels attempted an on-side kick in the hopes of getting the ball back one more time. Priceville, however, recovered the kick and ran the clock out for the victory.

The Bulldogs ran for 369 yards in the victory, with Burton leading the way with 277 yards on 29 carries. Jaxon Cross picked up 51 yards on four carries, while Peyton Fowler added 29 yards on five carries.

Priceville’s defense played a huge role in the win, holding West Morgan in check. 

The Rebels came into the game averaging 41.4 points per game over their previous five games. Tristan Holmes ended the game with 12 tackles and one tackle for loss, while Seth Looney and John Looney each had 10 tackles and a tackle for loss.

“I thought it was a great team win,” said Coach Chris Foster. “I thought the kids were really locked into their assignments and went out an executed the game plan – especially our defense, who had their best game of the year.

“Special teams made some big plays for us when our team really needed them in making the field goal late and recovering the onside kick,” Foster added. 

Foster said he was proud of the way his boys went out and competed the entire game.

The win gives the Bulldogs second place in Class 4A, Region 7, as they own the tie-breaker over St. John Paul II. They will host the Roger Pirates Nov. 8 in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs.

This will be the third time the Bulldogs have made it to the playoffs. The most recent  time was in 2015, when they won the region but fell 29-28 to Hamilton in the first round.

Priceville (6-3, 5-2) will close out the regular season Friday night by hosting the Brewer Patriots at Bulldogs Stadium. 

West Morgan’s season (3-7, 2-5) ends with the loss.