The Waldron Bulldogs headed north on Friday, August 27th with the intention of playing fetch with the coonskin caps of the Gentry Pioneers. Last season the Bulldogs bullied Gentry with a dominant 44-29 home win. This season the venues swapped giving Gentry a home-field advantage. Unfortunately for Waldron, Gentry had payback on their minds as the Pioneers put a 38-12 pounding on the Bulldogs Friday night.
Waldron started the game kicking off to Gentry and it was game on from there. The Bulldogs defense held up decently against Gentry’s mixed bag of offensive plays, but the mix was just enough for Gentry to drive downfield and score in nine plays. After the extra point was kicked through the uprights, the score stood at 7-0 Gentry with 9:04 left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs offense was missing a few key players in this game, but so goes the life of football. Gentry brought the house on defense on each play to force Waldron into a quick three and out, putting the Bulldogs defense back on the field. It only took a few plays for the Pioneers to march downfield again to score putting the Bulldogs down 14-0 at the 4:09 mark as the score remained the same to close out the first quarter.
With their offense struggling, Waldron leaned heavily on their defense to stay in the game early on. Gentry went on another one of their drives, but this time the Bulldogs gave very little ground to the Pioneers. With good open-field tackling and a determined deminer, Waldron’s defense kept Gentry out of the end zone forcing the Pioneers to kick a field goal instead. The field goal was good setting up a 17-0 score in the second quarter. The Bulldog’s offense began to come alive as they put together a couple of good drives to go along with their defensive effort. Bryson Barker made an awesome catch over the middle of Gentry’s defense for big yardage setting the Bulldogs up in the red zone. Waldron couldn’t cross the goal line though and instead vied for a field goal which went wide right. Gentry would score again, but this time the Bulldog’s offense answered. A few good rushes by Gabino Grano drew the Pioneers into stacking the box and left an opening at the goal line where Matt Brigance drilled a pass to Trenton Hunt for the Bulldog’s first score of 2021. The Bulldogs extra point was flawed by a bobbled snap and wound up unsuccessful leaving the score at 24-6.
Waldron’s defense again held off the Pioneers charge. The Dog Pound was starting to liven up on the sidelines and stands as the comeback slowly began. Brigance caught the Pioneers off guard with a big yardage pass to Barker setting up a mad scramble by Brigance for another Waldron touchdown. Although the extra point failed, the Bulldogs closed the gap to a 24-12 Gentry. That is where it would end for Waldron though as the Pioneers would tack on another two scores in the second half to close the game out with a 38-12 defeat of Waldrwon.
Although the scoreboard reflected poorly on the Bulldogs, the stat book gives promise for future games. Offensively, Waldron averaged over 6 yards per carry with Gabino Grano leading the rushing attack. Grano had 16 carries for 128 yards. Matt Brigance gained 36 yards on 9 carries and scored the Bulldog’s only rushing touchdown of the night. Chris Lopez busted out big yardage as he averaged 11 yards per carry off of only 4 carries for 45 yards. Bryson Barker led the team in receiving snagging 3 passes for 22 yards while Trenton Hunt, Chris Lopez, Montana Wesley, and Logan Young rounded out the receiving corps with 148 yards on a combined 10 catches. The defense may have had 38 points scored on them, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Peyton Lipham led Waldron’s defense with 4 solo tackles and 5 assists. The Bulldogs and 8 players recorded solo tackles and 16 came up with assisted tackles.