Bulldogs end preseason with 42-7 loss to Enterprise
By Bob Bahlmann
ENTERPRISE—The Gunnison Bulldogs wrapped up preseason play with a 42-7 loss when they visited the Enterprise Wolves Friday.
Bulldog head coach Jack Pay knew the Wolves would be a tough matchup. “They are an excellent team,” he said. “They use a five man front and apply a lot of pressure.”
Pay felt that the Enterprise defense could be exploited. “It’s feast or famine,” he said. “We need to use our athleticism to get into their secondary.”
He added that he was looking for his team to “do what we do better,” and play mistake-free football.
Although the Wolves and Bulldogs each had four turnovers in the game, Gunnison threw an interception on the third play of the game and then they fumbled on the first play of their next possession.
The back-to-back turnovers allowed Enterprise to jump out to an early lead that they never relinquished.
Trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs were forced to punt. Brandon Tucker nailed a beauty that had the Enterprise deep man backpedaling, resulting in his mishandling the ball. Gunnison’s Harley Hill recovered the loose ball, giving Gunnison hope as they took over on the Enterprise 36-yard line.
A pair of high snaps prevented the Bulldogs from capitalizing on the turnover, but on the Wolves’ next possession, Tucker read the quarterback’s eyes and was in perfect defensive position to pick off the pass. The interception evened the turnovers up at two each, but the ensuing Bulldog drive stalled out.
A 50-yard Enterprise drive gave them a 21-0 lead. With about a minute left in the first half, Gunnison got the ball back at midfield.
Bulldog QB Madsen hit Tucker, who fought his way out of bounds to stop the clock. Madsen than connected with Avery Anderson for a first down, and then found Tucker open again on the right sideline. Tucker tiptoed down the sideline, was hit at about the five, but battled his way close enough to stretch across the goal line for the only bulldog score of the game.
The Wolves used their running game to dominate time of possession. When they went to the air, the Bulldogs did a good job defending the pass. Enterprise only completed five of their 17 pass attempts.
Gunnison had some bright spots in their running game, but were largely unable to get beyond the Enterprise front line and into the secondary. The Bulldogs only netted about 30 yards on the ground.
Madsen found himself scrambling much of the night, but was still able to complete 20 of his 31 passes for 114 yards and a TD. He mixed it up well, connecting with eight different receivers.
Tucker had five catches for 42 yards, Creed Mogle also caught five for 50 yards. Anderson caught four for 26 yards.
After the game, Pay said negative plays and timely dropped balls really hurt the Bulldogs, preventing sustained drives and keeping the Bulldogs out of scoring position.
Next up for Gunnison will be the regular season opener when they host North Summit. The Braves are 0-4 on the year and earlier lost to Enterprise 42-0. This should be a great opportunity for the Bulldogs to enter league play with a 1-0 record. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.