CRUZ’S LATE TD LIFTS BULLDOGS IN DEBUT

CRUZ’S LATE TD LIFTS BULLDOGS IN DEBUT

📅06 September 2015
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By Robert Balajadia

Okkodo Bulldog Jesse Carl Cruz’ will to win was the only thing on his mind as he took a toss play eight yards into the end zone for a 6-0 lead against the visiting Southern Dolphins in Saturday night high school football.

The touchdown came with just 40 ticks left in regulation and would stand as the games only score as the Bulldogs broke their forfeit streak (0-2) to best the Dolphins with the 6-0 final.

“It just feels good to be back out there,” said Carl Cruz on the Bulldogs return to the field. “This game was a lot tougher than I expected, but we’ve got a lot to work on and we’ll get it done.”

The Bulldogs’ only red zone visits were in the first and final quarter, fumbling away their previous three before Cruz was able to get into the end zone.

Bulldog Aiden Ferrara made two big plays on special teams in the final quarter, first being a line-drive punt that hit the deck at the Dolphins 25-yard line before bouncing all the way to the 10.

Dolphins’ Vance Camacho was tracking down the ball and attempted to dive to kill the play, but he couldn’t beat Bulldog John Anthony Cruz to the ground as the two wrestled for possession with Cruz eventually winning it.

Okkodo’s Joshua Cruz fumbled the ball on the first carry following the muffed punt recovery at the four yard line. Dolphins’ Mason Mailloux forced the ball loose while Camacho dove on top to secure the ball, making up for letting the punt get away.

The celebration didn’t last long as Southern fumbled the ball right back to Okkodo as J.A. Cruz recovered the ball for the second time at the 15-yard line.

Then on the next play, Okkodo’s Carl Cruz didn’t secure the ball on the power run, coughing up yet another fumble right back to Southern with Corey Deunas recovering.

The crowd from both teams went through a roller coaster of emotions during the threesome of fumbles until the Bulldogs put their paws down on their next defensive and offensive series.

Bulldog Jaythaniel Cruz lets a pass go in time before getting tackled by an oncoming Dolphin.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Bulldog Jaythaniel Cruz lets a pass go in time before getting tackled by an oncoming Dolphin. (photo by Daniel Paran)

The defense, following Carl Cruz’ fumble, deflected Dolphins quarterback Dylan Parke’s two pass attempts to force a punt.

Ferrara’s second big play on special teams came on the punt as he took the ball from the Dolphins 30-yard line to their five after riding the right side of Bulldog blockers.

A short run play got the Bulldogs to the three yard line for the second time in the contest. Like their first sequence in the first quarter, a penalty pushed them back to the eight-yard line with less than a minute to go.

Carl Cruz knew he was in a familiar position and was determined to right the wrongs of the teams previous trips. He took the toss play to the strong side of the defense, out running the Dolphin frontline for the score, erupting the Bulldog sideline.

Three Quarter Defense

Wendy's Player of the Game: Jesse Carl Cruz

Wendy’s Player of the Game: BulldogJesse Carl Cruz

The first three quarters were dominated by defense and offensive lapses allowing no team to gain any real advantage.

The Dolphins lost their key offensive threat Kam’ron Tenorio in the 1st quarter on a two-yard run. Tenorio didn’t return to the contest, but was seen walking along the sidelines without gear making light of the injury.

The Bulldogs biggest gains on offense came on two toss plays from running back Michael Deleon, a 26-yard run in the 2nd quarter to get to midfield, and a 40-yarder to put the Bulldogs in the red zone for the second time all game. Okkodo fumbled the ball on their very next play, giving the Dolphins a moral boost.

Though, Dolphins failed to reach the red zone in the game, but did move the ball well downfield in short spurts. Quarterback Parke tried to rally the team for a comeback in the games final 40 seconds, completing a 15-yard pass to Billy Chaco.

The next four plays ended in a loss of yards on a run and three incompletions to end the game.

Both defenses collected one interception while the Dolphin defense forced and recovered five fumbles. The Bulldogs forced three fumbles, including the muffed punt.

“We still need to work on just about everything,” admitted Cruz on where the Bulldogs go after Week 3. “Our mindset has to be working hard every game and wanting to get better.”

2015 football standings

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Jeric Navarro utilizes his strength to shove away a Bulldog defender.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Jeric Navarro utilizes his strength to shove away a Bulldog defender. (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Dolphins' relentless on defense as they force a fumble for the turnover.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Dolphins’ relentless on defense as they force a fumble for the turnover. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Dolphins' Lee Burgos (#2) and Jeric Navarro (#35) work together to fend off the Bulldogs.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Dolphins’ Lee Burgos (#2) and Jeric Navarro (#35) work together to fend off the Bulldogs. (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Bulldogs on the hunt as they sack Dolphins' quarterback, Dylan Parke.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

The Bulldogs on the hunt as they sack Dolphins’ quarterback, Dylan Parke. (photo by Daniel Paran)

Michael Deleon runs to the side for a huge gain in yards for the Bulldogs.  (photo by Daniel Paran)

Michael Deleon runs to the side for a huge gain in yards for the Bulldogs. (photo by Daniel Paran)

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