GUNNISON—Although the Bulldogs’ performance was improved upon recent weeks, the result was the same.
Gunnison football lost their fifth straight game in another wide margin as they fell to Milford, 35-6, on Senior Night last Friday. The Bulldogs to 3-5 overall on the season with a winless record in the 1A South.
Once again working with a brand-new quarterback in sophomore Tyson Tucker, the Bulldogs struggled to make anything happen in the passing game as Tucker complete 3 of 12 passes for only 25 yards.
The run offense, however, was incredibly impressive. The Bulldogs collected 230 total yards on the ground. Due to a depleted roster, head coach Patrick King and his staff toyed with a number of combinations on the offensive line, and with Gunnison’s output against the Tigers, King feels they found the right one.
Senior Jack Hansen converted to running back to adapt to the injury of his throwing hand, and he led the offense with 18 carries for 108 yards. He also passed for the team’s only touchdown.
“We see lots of positives,” head coach Patrick King said. “It’s about taking that and putting it together for four quarters. With a small roster and a limited amount of guys that we can use, second halves are where the challenge is. We feel we put together a good game plan.”
Fueled by their run game, Gunnison’s offense put together a number of impressive drives into Milford territory in the first quarter. Unfortunately, it was the same thing every time as the Bulldogs would get repeatedly get past midfield, stall out, and turn it over on downs to walk away empty-handed. Nevertheless, one of those “positives” King saw was the offense and defense working together effectively to keep the Tigers scoreless in the first quarter.
Held out of the endzone nearly the entire game, Gunnison finally found some success in their final possession as Hansen took the reins back as quarterback in the last few plays. After several big runs got the Bulldogs inside the 20, Hansen took a shot at the endzone that fell incomplete but drew an easy call for defensive pass interference to put the Bulldogs at the 10.
On the very next play, Hansen connected with senior Carson Tucker on a short out route, and Tucker shed his defender to trot into the endzone in the final minute to take the goose-egg off the board. It was a solid way to go out at home for Hansen, a three-year starter at multiple positions.
“It must be emotional for Senior Night,” King said. “He’s been playing hard for years for this town. I’m sure it felt great. He seemed happy when he came off the field.”
Gunnison’s region play hasn’t quite gone as hoped, but the Bulldogs have a chance next week as they travel to face North Sevier on Friday as the regular season wraps up.