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CMS Bulldogs advance in playoffs

The District 3A middle school playoffs began October 12 for Claiborne and Horace Maynard middle schools. The game was held on the campus of Union County High School under great weather conditions.

The Bulldogs received the ball to start the game and they were able to move the ball well but were not able to find points. The Red Devils drove the ball efficiently on the Bulldogs but also had trouble finding the end zone. The two teams were scoreless going into and coming out of the second quarter. The Red Devils drives were long and took most of the time off the clock while the Bulldogs defense bent but didn’t break.

During the third quarter, the two teams played identical to the first two. No one could find the end zone mostly due to the Horace Maynard game plan of grinding out first downs.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs finally had a little momentum after stopping the Red Devils slow, purposeful attack. The Bulldogs were grinding it out as well until the drive was seemingly stopped by a bad snap that sailed over the head of QB Logan Daniels. Forced with a fourth and a country mile, the coaches were debating whether to punt or not but as they debated time was ticking off the clock and in the rush the Bulldogs had a play picked out to run. At the last minute Coach Asher Noe agreed to run the play and along with coaches Dylan and Dalton Lee watched as their team nailed the play call to perfection. The offensive line gave Daniels time to find and pass the ball to Challen Massengill who reached the yard to make and more. It was a gamble that had paid off greatly. A few plays later, the Bulldogs ran Daniels around the left end and got a huge block from Massengill that allowed Daniels the room to split, split and run over defenders into the end zone. Massengill was awarded for his big block and was targeted on the two point conversion. He came down with the ball and gave his team an important 8-0 lead.

With little time left, the Bulldogs didn’t want to kick the ball to a returner so Eli Mundy kicked the ball down the sideline in front of the Red Devils and a hustling Daniels recovered the football on a kick not really meant as an onside kick. The Bulldogs only had to run a couple plays and then went under center for the victory play. Time ticked away and the visiting Bulldogs had advanced to the second round to play Jacksboro.

After the game Noe had this to say about the gutsy call, “We all knew the right call was to punt the ball but at the same time we placed trust in the team that they could make the play work and it did. The backs get all the credit and their names in the paper but this game was won by the performance of the O-line. I’m super proud of them and the team for finding a way to win.”

The Bulldogs will travel to Jacksboro October 19 to do battle with a team that scored more points on them than any other during the regular seasonthe ; however, the Bulldogs are coming in a healthy team with newly found confidence.