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Longhorns hand Bulldogs first loss of season

Claiborne and the 5-0 Bulldogs welcomed Johnson County into Bulldogs territory for an important district game.

The key to a Bulldogs win was described in this manner by Coach Nathan Medlin, “We have to play with passion, stay the course and be great teammates. Defensively we have to shut down their run game. Offensively we have to execute every snap.”

The Bulldogs defended first to start the game and then after a failed fourth down try by the Longhorns, Eli Stone hit Challen Massengill one play later making it 7-0 following the point after.

The Longhorns drove down the field next and scored at 4:48 and took the lead after the conversion was good, 8-7 Johnson County.

The Bulldogs responded and their drive took them into the second quarter where Ervin ran in for his first of two  touchdowns. The point after was good and the Dogs took the lead away 14-8.

At 6:32, the Longhorns scored as well on another run play but the two point conversion was stopped with a violent collision tying the game at 14.

Claiborne was then forced with a fourth and short at 3:40 but fumbled the ball away.

Johnson County scored this time with 37 seconds left before the half on a pass play but the conversion failed; however, the damage was done and the Longhorns led 20-14.

The Bulldogs didn’t have time to respond and the Longhorns took a 20-14 lead into the locker room. At halftime, all veterans in attendance were honored and received a huge applause from the many thankful fans. The Claiborne band performed directly following the ceremony and soon after the players returned to the field for the second half.

Claiborne took the ball first after the half began and drove to the 29 yard line but turned it over on downs to the Longhorns.

The Bulldogs defense and a penalty on Johnson County forced a fourth and 39 at the 3:42 mark in the third. At 2:42 Storm Livesay found pay dirt and the point after was good giving the home team a 21-20 lead after three periods of play.

After getting the ball back, The Bulldogs were forced with a fourth and seven but there was no punt. They ran the ball with Stone for the first and you could feel the energy on the Longhorns sideline go away. At 6:57 Ervin found daylight and the end zone running right up the middle for his second of the night. The point after was missed but Claiborne led 27-20.

After the kick and one offensive play later the Longhorns passed for a 60 yard touchdown and ran in the two point conversion taking the lead back at 28-27. The visiting fans had new life and the players were re-energized.

Claiborne fumbled on the first play of their next drive and gave the ball to the Longhorns at the 46. They used run plays and a personal foul against Claiborne to score again, this time with 4:40 on the clock. Claiborne needed to stop the conversion try and they did just that keeping the Longhorn lead to seven at 34-27.

The Bulldogs tried to get a drive going but a sack on a fourth and 11 ended the drive and gave the Longhorns the ball in the red zone. Johnson County scored once more and with 2:38 left took a seemingly insurmountable lead at 40-27. The game ended and Claiborne had it’s first tick in the loss column at 40-27.

Claiborne will now try to put this one behind them and get ready for a homecoming game against Cosby, October 9.

 

By Allen Earl