The Borger Bulldogs opened district play by welcoming the Dalhart Golden Wolves to Bulldog Stadium on Friday night. Borger has won the contest the last three years. On Friday night, they would fall short in a three point heartbreaker of a loss.
Borger received to start the game with McKee returning it to the 33. Butler rushed for a short gain and Freeman rushed for nine, but the Dogs were forced to punt. Henry had a nice punt to the Dalhart 27, where they started their drive. Jeter and Orona combined for the stop on first down, but Dalhart would pick up the first, and then move it across midfield. Baca, the runningback for Dalhart, could not be stopped, and moved it to the 8 where Suttle and Jensen stopped him from scoring. Baca would eventually push it in for Dalhart and the extra point was good. Dalhart leads 7-0 with 5:40 left in the first.
Borger receives, and McKee returns it to the 25. Freeman and Butler take over for the Dogs, gaining a first down on the 35. Freeman then breaks free for 8, and Guinn rushes for 12 on a keeper to the Dalhart 45. After Freeman picks up some short yardage, Butler breaks free for a nice run of 21 yards, dragging Dalhart defenders for 10 of those yards. The Bulldogs get it down to the Dalhart 15, when they fumble on 2nd ant 6. Dalhart recovers and takes over.
Borger came out with a fired up defense. Suttle led the Dog pile on Baca for a loss of 9 yards, and Henry, Weber, and Gowdy have a stop on 2nd down for a loss of 1. It quickly becomes 3rd and 20 for Dalhart as the first quarter comes to a close. Mesneak has a near interception on 3rd down to start the second quarter, and Dalhart is forced to punt after a great defensive hold by Borger.
Borger receives and has great field position on their own 48. Freeman rushes ahead for a short gain. On 2nd and 9, Freeman breaks free for 16 yards in which fellow running back Butler set a great block. Butler then rushed ahead for 19 yards and Freeman for 3 more. The ball was knocked loose, but Sharp jumped on it to recover for the Dogs. Butler would get it to the 5 yard line, and then Freeman would get close to the endzone before penalties took over for Borger. It was now 1st and goal from the 20, and Salinas gets tripped up for a loss of three yards. Freeman has a short gain, and a Guinn pass is incomplete to Lacy from the 22 yard line. Another penalty backs them up to the 27, and it is now 4th down. The Bulldogs come out of a timeout, and Guinn completes a beautiful pass to Henry in the endzone for a 27 yard touchdown. The kick by Lacy is no good, and the Dogs are down 7-6 with 7:29 left in the 2nd.
Dalhart would fumble on the ensuing kick-off, but they recover. Salinas and Mesneak have back to back stops on defense, but Baca would again break free to get the first. After a Suttle stop on 1st down, Baca breaks free from many Borger tacklers and scores on a 43 yard scamper to the endzone. The extra point was no good, and Dalhart is up 13-6 with 4:48 left in the half.
Borger receives the ball and Henry takes it to the Borger 34. The Bulldogs would only need one play and 30 seconds on this drive. Freeman takes the handoff and blasts past the Dalhart defenders straight to pay dirt on a 66 yard touchdown run. The two point conversion to Freeman was successful, and the Bulldogs go up 14-13 with 4:18 left in the half.
The kick-off goes over the Dalhart receiver's head, and he has to run it out from the endzone. He gets it back to the Dalhart 17, where Galloway is there for the stop. Martinez, Gowdy, and Mesneak all make great plays on defense to force a 4th and 1, but Dalhart would convert. On 3rd down, Orona has a big hit to bring up another 4th and 1, which Dalhart would convert again. With 18.8 seconds left, it was 2nd and 10 on the Borger 39. Henry is called for pass interference, and the ball moves to the 24 with 10 seconds left in the half. Henry has a touchdown saving tackle, but Dalhart would come out to kick a fieldgoal with 4 seconds left. It was no good, and the score stands 14-13 Borger at half.
Freeman had 117 yards rushing and a touchdown in the first half, and the Dogs had 181 yards rushing total. Guinn was 1 for 3 in the half with 27 yards and one touchdown.
The second half begins with the Borger defense on the field. Jeter, Gowdy, and Henry all have nice plays before Henry intercepts the ball on their own 41. On 1st down, Freeman is met at the line of scrimmage for no gain. On 2nd down, Butler cuts, spins, and bulldozes over Dalhart defenders to break free for a 59 yard touchdown. The Lacy kick is no good, but Borger is up 20-13 with 9:58 left in the 3rd.
Dalhart takes over on their own 14 after Jensen had a nice tackle in the backfield. A host of Dogs, led by Gowdy takes down the Dalhart back for a loss of a yard. Dalhart would convert, but Fernandez then had a tackle for a loss of 3 yards to bring up a 3rd and 3 in which Gowdy and Jeter are there for the stop. On 4th down, Baca converts again for the Golden Wolves. The defense would hold to bring up another 4th down. Henry and Salinas would make a touchdown saving tackle as Dalhart takes it to the 9. After a penalty on Dalhart, it is now on the 19. McKee makes a stop and two incomplete passes force a 4th and 14 for Dalhart, who decide to go for the fieldgoal from the 14. The kick hits the upright and is no good, and the Borger defense holds again with 4:31 left in the 3rd.
The Bulldogs get the ball back hoping to extend their lead. A series of rushes from Freeman and Butler gave Borger a first down. Despite a penalty on Dalhart on 3rd and 5, Butler is dropped for a loss of one yard and the Dogs are forced to punt.
Weber tackles the Dalhart receiver on their own 28 to end the 3rd quarter. Mesneak and Easley combine on the sack of the Dalhart quarterback for a loss of 6 yards. Gowdy provides some pressure on the quarterback who throws incomplete, and Dalhart is forced to punt after very aggressive play from the Dog defense.
On 1st and 10 from their own 38, Freeman rushes ahead for 3. Orona is shaken up on the play, and comes off the field for a bit. On 2nd down, penalties plagued the Dogs. They were called for illegal procedure twice in a row to make it 2nd and 17 from the 31. Freeman can't gain much traction and only gains two of those yards back. Borger is forced to punt, but the snap sails way over Henry's head to the endzone. Henry tries to escape, but is tackled on the 1. Dalhart pushes it in easily, the extra point is good, and the game is now tied at 20 all with 9:24 left in the contest.
Borger would control the ball for the next 7 minutes starting at their own 15. A 15 yard penalty on Dalhart moves it to the 30. Butler again bulldozes his way forward on a tough 12 yard run and a 1st down. After a false start on the Dogs, Freeman breaks free a nice 7 yard gain behind a great block from Gutierrez. Freeman and Butler take turns moving the ball down the field, and they find themselves on the Dalhart 32. Freeman takes it to the 18 and then Butler down to the 7 behind a great McKinney block. Borger is called for holding and moved back to the 17. Butler gets 6 yards and Freeman two before he is stuffed for no gain on 3rd and 4th downs on the 9 yard line.
Dalhart gets the ball on the 9 with 2:34 left in the game. Baca has two big gains to get the ball past midfield with a minute to play. Baca keeps running the ball, and Dalhart keeps getting out of bounds to stop the clock. On 2nd and 3 from the Borger 21, McKee makes the tackle on the 16 to keep Dalhart out of the endzone with 18 ticks left on the clock. Dalhart would get it to the 10 and bring their kicker out. The fieldgoal was good, and Dalhart pulls out the victory 23-20.
Borger came out fired up and played with such heart and determination. Both sides of the ball played tremendously and they should be proud of their efforts.
Borger finished 309 total rushing yards and 27 total passing yards. Dalhart finished with 318 yards on the ground and 40 through the air. Baca could not be stopped and had 236 yardsand two touchdowns for Dalhart. Butler and Freeman did great work for the Dogs. These guys are outstanding running backs. Butler finished with 15 carries for 160 yards and Freeman with 26 carries for 167 yards and each with one touchdown. Guinn was 1 for 3 with a 27 yard touchdown pass and 12 yards rushing. Henry caught that 27 yard touchdown pass, the only reception for the Bulldogs. They had one turnover in the contest.
Borger will travel down the road to face district rival Pampa next Friday the 26th. Go Dogs!!