Bulldogs hold off Allen for 35-32 win

Stratford defenders Jase Fulks (21) and Aaron Carter (55) bury Allen tailback Shawn Husband (24) during the Bulldogs thrilling 35-32 win recently in Stratford.

Nolan Hall had over 300 yards in total offense and was a part of four touchdowns for the Stratford Bulldogs during Friday nights homecoming game with rival Wynnewood. 

The Savages countered with Caden Knighten who had over 300 yards in offense with four touchdowns including a game winning 6-yard TD run with eight seconds remaining, lifting Wynnewood to a 34-30 shoot-out win.

“It was a very exciting game Friday night, but we came up just short as Wynnewood scored with 8 seconds left to take the lead after we marched down the field to score with 1:45 to go in the game,” Stratford head coach Michael Blackburn said.

Hall finished with 137 yards rushing on 30 carries with one touchdown and was 15-0f-29 for 170 yards and three touchdowns. Knighten had 194 yards rushing with four touchdowns and was 5-of-7 passing for 108 yards.

The game was back-and-forth for the entire 48 minutes. The scoring didn’t get started until the second quarter. Knighten got loose from deep in his own territory going 94 yards for a touchdown. He then added a 19-yard touchdown run for a 12-0 lead.

Late in the first half the Bulldogs struck pay dirt with Hall hitting Hunter Morton for the first of his three touchdown catches. The pass covered nine yards and cut the Savages lead to 12-8 at the break.

Stratford took their first lead of the game midway through the third quarter as Morton and Hall hooked up once again this time form 18 yards out for a 14-12 advantage.

The lead was short lived as the Savages marched down the field with Knighten scoring on a 3-yard run.

Hall was able to pin the Savages deep in their own territory at the 3-yard-line late in the third quarter.

The Savages Derrick Fields was stopped for no gain on first down. On second down, the Savages went to the air with a quick pass to Moses Gibson. Gibson was still in the end zone when he caught the pass the Bulldogs swarmed him tackling him in the end zone for a safety cutting the lead to 20-26.

The Bulldogs got the ball back on the kickoff at the Savages 35-yard-line. Stratford mad quick work of the short field with Hall capping off the drive with a 7-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter for a 22-20 lead.

Wynnewood responded with scoring drive of their own to regain the lead. Fields capped off the drive with a 22-yard TD run and a 28-22 lead with 6:22 remaining.

Not to be outdone, Stratford came right back. A 12-play, 73-yard drive ended with Hall hitting Morton with an 11-yard TD pass and a 30-28 lead with 1:45 remaining.

A 30-yard kickoff return by Knighten set up the Savages at the Stratford 40-yard line. The Savages moved quickly but stayed with their ground game. Knighten had two carries early for 14 yards and Fields added an 8-yard run to the Stratford 18 with 37 seconds left.

After a timeout, Knighten carried Wynnewood down to the 7-yard-line and scored on the next snap for a 34-30 lead with 8 seconds remaining.

Wynnewood recovered the ensuing kickoff and ran out the clock for their first A-4 district win. The Bulldogs fell to 0-3 in district play and 1-5 overall. Stratford will be at Rush Springs on Thursday while the Savages host Elmore City-Pernell.

Morton finished with 112 receiving yards on 12 catches and 3 touchdowns for the Bulldogs. Braylinn King had 21 yards, Sean Harian 16 yards and Dayton Goodridge 15 yards. Harian added 29 yards rushing, Morton 27 and Goodridge 4. Defensively, Taylor Arriaga, Goodridge, Harian and Morton all had six tackles each.

“Both Nolan Hall and Hunter Morton had big games for us.,” Blackburn said. “Nolan carried a huge load for us rushing 30 times for 137 yards and throwing the ball 29 times for 170 yards. Hunter caught 3 touchdown passes from Nolan and had 12 catches for 118 yards. We will travel to Rush Springs on Thursday night at 7:00.”

Fields finished with 100 yards on 13 carries for the Savages. Gibson had 88 yards receiving and Aaron Lyle 20 yards. Matthew Christoffersen led the defense with 8 tackles. Knighten and Fields had 7.5 each, Julian Givens 5.5 and Ethan White 5 tackles.

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