Miles Bulldogs take down Menard in a fast and furious shootout: The Roundup

Bill Hancock
Runnels County Register
The Miles Bulldogs dug in their heels against the Menard Yellowjackets in 44-32 win on Friday night.

The Miles Bulldogs took down the Menard Yellowjackets in an furiously paced battle on the gridiron.

The Bulldogs started the season 0-3, but have shown vast improvement the last few games. Miles didn't put a point on the board until their third game of the season, when they lost 43-24 to the Roscoe Plowboys. In the fourth game of the season Miles got on track with a 55-12 defeat of the Munday Moguls. In the next game, the Bulldogs fell 37-32 to Cross Plains, a game that saw the Bulldogs grind away but come up short in the end.

The Bulldogs dropped their District opener to the Eldorado Eagles, 64-14. The Eagles are a tough team, with size and speed, and picked to win district this season. Miles was still getting their feet under them in their spread offense under 2nd-year head coach Jayson Wilhelm.

Miles' Carson Ellison #4, takes the ball on an end-around, picking up 20 yards on the play.

Miles headed to Junction for their next game. They took down the Eagles 49-7, who were in the midst of a 3-game skid. Miles added a fourth loss to Juntion's total.

Friday the Bulldogs (3-5, 2-1) hosted the Menard Yellowjackets (3-5,1-2). The Bulldogs knew it was going to be a tough game against a Menard team that was on the ropes. The Yellowjackets took the opening kickoff and 7 plays later they punched the ball into the end zone. The extra point was blocked by Carson Ellison. Menard kicked off with a 6-0 lead.

Bulldogs face early challenges

The Bulldogs made an early mistake when they turned the ball over on their 3rd play from scrimmage. The defense dug their heels in and forced a Menard punt that pinned the Bulldogs deep in their own territory.

That's when Bulldogs quarterback Hayven Book, running back Dylan Garza, and wide receiver Ellison went to work. An end around run by Ellison picked up 25-yards as the Bulldogs steadily moved the ball down field. Book would find the end zone on an 18-yard keeper. With the PAT, Miles took a 7-6 lead.

Miles Bulldogs' quarterback, Hayven Book #1, has exploded under an offense that Head Coach Jayson Wilhelm has implemented this year. Book makes good decisions when passing and an run the ball effectively.

On the kickoff, Ellison, who is also the kicker, kicked the ball out of bounds, resulting in a penalty, giving Menard with the ball on the 35-yard line. Ellison didn't wait to make amends for his mistake. He forced a fumble on the Yellowjackets' first play of their short-lived drive.

Keeping up the pressure

Once again, Miles mixed runs in with their spread offense. Garza scored on a 10-yard run that saw some excellent blocking from the line. With :59 seconds to go in the 1st quarter, Miles held a 14-6 lead.

The kickoff, once again went out of bounds. Menard started with excellent field position, eventually finding the end zone. The PAT was blocked and pick up by Ellison who returned it about 40 yards. The Yellowjackets would kick off down 14-12.

Miles' Keagan Riddle hits the Menard running back. The runner was amazing able to escape the tackle and pick up 15 yards on a solid second-effort.

Kicking woes

Menard's kick was short as the Bulldogs took over on their own 36-yard line. It wasn't but 2 plays later when Book threw a touchdown pass from his own territory. The PAT by Ellison was good as the Bulldogs took a 21-12 lead.

Menard took the ensuing kick and started about midfield. Art their own 49-yard line, Menard's quarterback found his receiver for a quick strike over the middle. The receiver broke 2 tackles and found the end zone 51-yards later. Menard hit their PAT to bring the score to 21-19 with 7 minutes left in the half

Menard attempted an on-side kick that failed. Their players were also offside, which gave Miles the ball at the Menard 46-yard line. The Bulldogs' first play saw Garza tackled for a loss, capped off by a penalty on Ellison for an illegal block. This put the Bulldogs back at their own 38-yard line.

On the next play, Book got rushed but maneuvered to the sideline, always keeping his eyes down field, where he found Kaden Crocker that cut 2nd down to to 2 and 3 from a 1st and 26. The Bulldogs fought to the Yellowjackets 28-yard line. Garza rushed for 4 yards to bring up 2nd and 6. On the next play, Wilhelm saw some confusion and twice called a timeout but the side judge didn't hear him and an illegal participation foul was called on the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs were stopped on a 4th and 1 at the Menard 19-yard line. The Yellowjackets took over and made progress but were stopped by the determined Bulldogs' defense.

Carson Ellison #4, helped lead the Miles Bulldogs to a 44-32 win over the Menard Yellowjackets on October 22. Ellison is a WR, CB and the kicker. He had scores on offense, forced a fumble, while making several tackles along the way.

Trading punch for punch

The game was back and forth for all 48 minutes. Neither team gave in. When the Yellowjackets would get close, Miles would put more points on the board. The Bulldogs ran the ball well, a ground game that was opened up by a spread offense that often lured linebackers down the field. The defensive and offensive lines for Miles did their job, winning the battle in the trenches. The O-line gave Book solid protection which gave him time to find open receivers down field. Garza took advantage of the ground game and pounded the ball time and time again.

Coach Wilhelm commented after the game, "Menard played well and we had to respond. The Guerrero kid at RB is an outstanding athlete and made some big plays for them. We made lots of big plays, too. I’ve always felt that we needed that game where we had to come from behind and win and we turned the ball over on our first offensive play of the second half and Menard capitalized really quick. That score gave them a lead and we had to see what we were made of. Defense came up big when we needed to and our offense is becoming more balanced and that makes us a whole lot better."

By the numbers

Overall, the Bulldogs had 340 yards of offense, compared to the 328 yards that Mendard put up. Book was 15/21 for 162 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT. Menard was able to only generate 58 yards of passing with 0 TDs and 2 INT. Menard surpassed Miles in the ground game, picking 277 yards on 45 carries for a 6.2 yard average. The Bulldogs had 178 yards on 28 rushes, averaging 6.4 yards per rush. Book picked up most of those yards, rushing 7 times for 77 yards and 1 TD. Garza and running back Tanner Wood added a touchdown each. Riddle led the receiving corps with 5 receptions for 82 yards. Garza chalked up a touchdown reception in addition to his rushing TD.

The Bulldogs' Devin Medina pulled down both interceptions for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs' defense held the line late in the game when Menard threatened to score. The line was able to push the Yellowjackets' offensive line back and stop plays for no gain. Menard quarterback Jordan McSherry was held to 6/15 for 51 yards and 2 TDs. The beast on the Yellowjackets is running back Joel Guerrero. The young man was the workhorse of the game, picking up an incredible 240 yards on 28 carries for an average of 8.6 yards per rush and 3 TD.

Menard had 3  turnovers, compared to 2 for Miles.

The Bulldogs would ultimately take the game 44-32 as they improved to 3-5 overall, and 2-1 in district.

Up next, Miles will host a good Rocksprings team that is 5-3 overall, but only 1-2 in district. Also this week, the Christoval Cougars will face the Eldorado Eagles in a battle of the top 2 teams in the district. The Cougars are 3-0 in district, while the Eagles are 2-1.

Ballinger dismantles Ingram Moore Warriors

It was no secret that the Ballinger Bearcats were embarrassed in Grape Creek when they lost 20-13 in a mistake-filled game against the Eagles. The game was expected to be a rebound for Ballinger after losing to their arch-rival Brady Bulldogs 54-41 the week prior.

The unfortunate opponent for a Bearcats (4-3, 1-2) team looking to make amends was the Ingram Moore Warriors (2-6, 0-3). It didn't take Ballinger long to get things going, as they put up 2 touchdowns in the 1st quarter. The Bearcats followed that up with 3 touchdowns in the 2nd quarter, 3 more scores in the 3rd quarter, and one touchdown in the 4th, for a 61-0 defeat of a struggling Warriors team.

Bearcats' quarterback Briley Clinton, filling in for the injured Carter Arrott, was efficient, going 12/17 for 197 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Clinton also led all rushers with 6 carries for 79 yards and 1 touchdown.

Owing to the runaway nature of the game, the Bearcats were able to get some bench players into the game to get some experience. Overall, 9 Bearcats rushed 37 times for 336 yards and 6 touchdowns against an anemic Warriors defense.

The Bearcats' Trey Matschek was the leading receiver with 8 catches for 117 yards and 1 touchdown. Beau Perkins and Nathan Rivera-McDuffee each added a touchdown reception.

The Ballinger defense added 10 tackles-for-loss and 3 sacks, smothering the Warriors' offense as they removed any hope of Ingram Moore putting a single point on the board.

Winters falls to Goldthwaite

It's been a grinding season for the Winters Blizzards (1-6, 0-3) who lost starting quarterback Jon Kullen Busher for the season a month ago. The Blizzards welcomed the Goldthwaite Eagles (4-4, 2-1) last Friday, hoping to salvage part of their season.

It wasn't a pretty game for the Blizzards who foundered against the Eagles, eventually falling 49-13. The Blizzards managed to score 2 touchdowns, but little more. The offense struggled while the defense wasn't able to stem the tide of the Eagles' onslaught.