In a duel between two undefeated teams, the stage was set for good old fashioned showdown. The Hancock Bulldogs traveled to LA Pierce College to see who would take the first loss in conference and a chance to, at minimum, share a conference championship.
The Bulldogs entered today's match-up 7-1, undefeated in conference and on a 6-game winning streak. LA Pierce came in 5-3, undefeated in conference and on a 4-game winning streak of their own. The winner would secure a share at the conference championship.
L.A. Pierce did their best to respond, including a 24-yard completion, but the Bulldogs defense would force a fumble, recovered by Seth Olice.
The Bulldogs were able to turn the turnover into points when freshman running back Jayden Vargas exploded for a 55-yard touchdown, pushing the Bulldogs lead to 14-0 just before halftime.
The Brahmas rallied at the start of the 2nd quarter and came out swinging. They converted on their first drive with a 55-yard bomb on 4th down. They were unable to complete the 2-pt conversion, closing the Bulldog lead 14-6.
With a couple of defensive stops on the both ends, the Bulldogs were able to convert on a Carr pass to Joe Guzman for a 10-yard touchdown with just 29 seconds left on the clock before halftime. The score was 21-6 going into the half.
The 3rd quarter would be a challenge for the Bulldogs, going scoreless in the quarter.
Pierce took the opportunity to close the gap, scoring on their first drive of the half and successfully kicking a field goal, the Bulldogs lead dwindled to 21-16 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
The reliable Hancock running game fired back in a big way in the 4th quarter, scoring on 3 consecutive drives. Freshman running back Qualik Davis rushed for 29-yards and a touchdown, Skinner ran for a 29-yard touchdown of his own, and Vargas joined party, darting for 45-yards and a third unanswered touchdown by the Bulldogs. The Hancock lead would be stretched to 42-16.
The Bulldogs defense would add to the lead, when Curt McDonald intercepted the Pierce pass and returned it for 37-yards into the end zone, extending the 4th quarter lead to 49-16.
The Brahmas would score again with just 12-seconds on the game clock, but it wouldn't have any impact. The Bulldogs win 49-24.
Sophomore running back Ryheem Skinner led the way with 158 total rushing yards, breaking the 1000-yard mark for the season.
With the win, the Bulldogs have guaranteed at least a share of the conference title. They have a chance to own title outright this Saturday when they host L.A. Harbor. Kick-off is at 1pm.