GUNNISON—The Bulldogs may very well have broken the dam last Friday.
The Gunnison Valley High football team made an absolute statement last week in a 43-12 shellacking of Monticello that served to prove that Coach Patrick King and the Bulldogs were ready to win a little earlier than expected.
The Bulldogs 43-point outing was the most points scored by the team in any game since 2015 and the most against a region opponent since before the turn of the century. Even for King, the big win over the Buckaroos signified a breakthrough for the Gunnison football program.
“Things have come together very well,” King said. “The boys are believing in each other and working together as a team to execute our plans.”
Gunnison scored in multiple ways throughout the game and dominated both sides of the ball. As a team, the Bulldogs rushed for 261 total yards and four touchdowns. Junior Dylan Anderson was a revelation in the backfield with six carries for a blistering 114 yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Zach Stewart delivered some great plays with 10 carries for 103 yards.
“Dylan is a rising star on both sides of the ball,” King said. “The first two games, we needed his focus on defense where he made important plays. This week, he was able to be the uppercuts to Zach Stewart’s hay-makers.”
Junior quarterback Jack Hansen showed off his hybrid positional ability with four pass completions for 68 yards and two touchdowns to go with nine carries for 34 yards and another touchdown.
Stewart and Hansen had a field day in the defensive secondary as well, combining for three interceptions, one of which Stewart took all the way back for a 34-yard interception touchdown.
Hansen connected with senior receiver Creed Mogle to get the Bulldogs on the scoreboard early, then it was Anderson’s turn as the junior plunged through the Monticello defense for a 24-yard score.
By halftime, the Bulldogs were up 38-6.
In Gunnison’s first two games of the season, the Bulldog’s only trip to the end zone was on a completely undefended punt return. Last week’s offensive outburst was a night and day
difference, thanks to clean execution by the offensive line and blockers.
“I knew it would come!” King said. “We have been very close to executing how we want to. We still had a few penalties and things that needed to be cleaned up. However, as we approach mid-season form, I believe we can do very well on both sides of the ball.”
The Bulldogs are 1-2 on the season and have an extremely favorable schedule ahead of them. They next travel to face Rich, a currently 0-3 team that King is not about to underestimate. With the likely exception of Duchesne in a few weeks, Gunnison suddenly has a schedule they look to stack up very well against.
“Right now, our only goal is to overcome a tough Rich team,” King said. “However, I have believed in this team’s potential all along. Our season goal is to have a winning season, and we have an opportunity to manifest that goal to fruition should we continue to play at this level.”