Bulldogs run close to American Leadership Academy, but fail 33-55
By James Tilson
SPANISH FORK—In what was an otherwise close contest of evenly matched teams, Gunnison Valley’s mistakes and turnovers led to the margin of victory for American Leadership Academy, 55-33.
Four Bulldog turnovers, two interceptions and two fumbles led directly to four Eagles touchdowns. With a score difference of 22 points, those four touchdowns proved to be the difference between victory and defeat for the Bulldogs.
“Turnovers played a huge part in the game,” said Coach Jack Pay. “When you win the turnover battle it puts you in a place to win. But when you lose that battle, it makes it very difficult to win.”
The Bulldogs actually managed to move the ball fairly well most of the night, scoring 33 points scattered over all four quarters of the game. Quarterback Caden Madsen was having a good night, until a scary moment in the third quarter when he sustained a head/neck injury where he had to be taken from the field by ambulance. Coach Pay reports that Madsen is doing well, but the family has requested privacy at this time.
Madsen was not the only starting player missing from the team for the game. Getting close to the end of the season, injuries have depleted the ranks of the Bulldogs. “We were down players, but our team needs to have a next-man-up mentality,” Coach Pay said. “You obviously want those players on the field, because they are game-changers. When you do not have them, everyone has to step up and rally to the team.”
With the loss, the Bulldogs are 1-2 in Region 2A North, tied with ALA for third in the region. With two games to play, the Bulldogs are still in play to host a home playoff game if they can get one more region victory.
This week, Gunnison Valley hosts region foe Delta. “We match up well with Delta, but it will depend greatly on how well we recover from the bumps and bruises we have,” Coach Pay said.
Much like the Bulldogs, the Delta Jackrabbits had a tough pre-season, losing four in a row. But once the region schedule began, Delta managed two victories and moved up the rankings. “They, like us, have gotten better each week and had some injuries. It is a battle of evenly matched teams,” he said.
Kickoff at Gunnison Valley High School is at 7 p.m. Friday night.