Priceville’s dream season ends in second round of playoffs
The dream season for the Priceville Bulldogs came to an end Friday night, as the Bulldogs fell to No. 4 Northside 41-14 in the second round of the 4A state playoffs.
Both teams entered the game coming off history-making wins.
Northside’s quarterback Jake Corkren completed 17 of 27 passes for 389 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Rams to victory.
Northside took an early 7-0 lead when Corkren threw a 43-yard touchdown on the first drive. On Northside’s next drive, Corken connected on a 33-yard touchdown pass that put the Rams up 14-0.
Priceville answered back with a six-play, 26-yard drive that ended with a five-yard Jerry Burton touchdown run to make it 14-7. The drive was set-up by a 41-yard kick-off return.
Northside mishandled the ensuing Priceville kickoff that the Bulldogs recovered on the 37-yard line. Priceville couldn’t cash in on the momentum, however, as the Bulldogs would turn the ball over on downs after an incomplete pass on fourth down at the 20-yard line.
Northside took a 21-7 lead right before halftime, as Corkren connected on another 33-yard touchdown pass.
Northside fumbled the ball on its first possession of the second half, and the Bulldogs recovered it at the Rams’ 28-yard line. Priceville scored four plays later when Burton ran it in from nine yards out to make it 21-14.
On the next Northside drive, Corken would strike again with a 79-yard touchdown pass to put the Rams up 28-14. The touchdown pass was his fourth of the game.
Northside added two rushing touchdowns to make the final score 41-14.
“I thought their defense did a great job holding our run game in check. It was tough to get any explosive plays rushing against them,” said Priceville coach Chris Foster. “The difference in the game was, both times when we cut their lead to one score, we were unable to capitalize on the momentum.”
Northside (11-1) advances to the third round to play No. 5 Jacksonville, a 56-22 winner over St. John Paul II.
Priceville’s Burton finished the night with 120 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. He completed his junior season with 2,510 yards and 33 touchdowns.
Priceville (8-4) will have a lot to build on next season, as the team returns all but nine seniors from this year’s teams.
Those nine seniors endured more downs than ups during their four-year career but were able to turn the Bulldog program around with their play this season.
Priceville will say goodbye to offensive linemen Truman Terry, Seth Looney and Michael McNutt, as well as running back Jaxon Cross. Other seniors include Jaxson Graham, Michael Matthews, Sam Walker, Jacob Bragwell and Steven Aquado.
Cross finished the year as the Bulldogs’ second-leading rusher with 823 yards and seven touchdowns. He also had 10 receptions for 196 yards and one touchdown. On defense he finished with 50 tackles, four interceptions and one touchdown.
Looney, McNutt and Terry anchored an offensive line that paved the way for a Priceville offense that rushed 4,100 yards and 46 touchdowns.
“I don’t have the words to describe my senior class this year. Each one of them had an important role on this team, and they were all successful in those roles,” said Foster.
Priceville will return running backs Burton and Peyton Fowler, who finished the season with 466 yards rushing, along with quarterback Wyatt Hurt on offense.
Defensively, the Bulldogs return six of their leading tacklers, including linebackers Tristan Holmes, John Looney, JC Estes and Fowler, along with defensive backs William Baker and Hurt.