FORDYCE — Leading 14-7 at halftime, the 3-3A Earle Bulldogs scored 32 unanswered points en route to a 46-7 win over the 6-3A Fordyce Redbugs in the second round of the 3A playoffs at Redbug Field on Friday night.
Fordyce didn’t have an answer for quarterback Corey Garrett and the single-wing package as he led the Bulldogs with four total touchdowns, including three on the ground.
Fordyce head coach Tim Rodgers gave Earle high praise for its victory over the Redbugs.
“We played a great team tonight,” Rodgers said. “(Earle) was so much bigger, faster and stronger than we were. We had some turnovers and it kind of snowballed from there.”
The Bulldogs defense helped out the offense with field position as they forced four turnovers. Rodgers said the defense gave the Redbugs fits all night and they deserved a lot of the credit for forcing the turnovers.
“You got to give everything to Earle, they took it to us,” Rodgers said. “We just couldn’t stop them. We could not stop them.”
In a cold and rainy football game, the Bulldogs struck the scoreboard first with two minutes left in the first quarter when Garrett ran the ball from 2 yards out. The two-point try failed as the Bulldogs led 6-0. A fumble recovery by Garrett on the next possession gave the Bulldogs great field position at the Redbugs 33 yard line. Earle needed just six plays to find the end zone again when Garrett scored from 5 yards out. Earle added the two-point conversion to move ahead 14-0.
Fordyce responded late in the half when Javeaz Sledge took a quarterback keeper to the right and dove over the line for a 10-yard touchdown run. The PAT by Braden Chambers made it a 14-7 game near halftime.
At the start of the second half, the Redbugs received the ball, but they fumbled on their first play from scrimmage after a hard hit jarred the ball loose. The Bulldogs took over on the Fordyce 34-yard line and scored eight plays later when Garrett found Jarius Wright for a 20-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion made it 22-7 with 8:15 left in the third. The Bulldogs went on to add touchdown runs of 4, 18, and 7 yards as they dominated the second half in their 39-point win.
With the season over, Rodgers said his team improved each week and he was proud of their effort.
“I thought we improved and got better as the year went along,” he said. “I hate it ended like this … but our year I thought we did pretty good. We improved and that’s what you try for.”