By JOSH FRYE
J.U. Blacksher’s Bulldogs were unable to generate an ideal start to the 2020 season, dropping a 49-19 decision to Luverne High’s Tigers in last Friday’s season opener in Uriah.
“We didn’t play well,” JUB head coach Wes Sims said. “We were unable to block or tackle like we should have. We had a couple of good plays at times, especially on special teams, but we made a lot of mistakes.”
The Tigers kicked off scoring with just over nine minutes left in the first quarter on a 3-yard touchdown run. Just under two minutes later, Luverne struck again, returning a punt 65 yards for a touchdown.
With 6:25 left in the first quarter, the Bulldogs finally put points on the board as quarterback Lathon Owens found Deon Hill with 32-yard TD pass. Andrew Dawson’s extra point attempt fell shy and JUB trailed 14-6.
Exactly one minute later, the Tigers answered back with a 54-yard touchdown run and extended the lead to 20-6.
Luverne added three more points during the final two minutes of the first quarter, notching through a 32-yard field goal.
As the second quarter began, the Tigers did not let off the throttle, scoring on the first play of the quarter with a 32-yard run.
Following the Luverne scoring drive, Hill gave the Bulldogs a glimmer of hope when he returned the after-score kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown.
The extra point attempt fell short, and the Bulldogs trailed 30-12.
The Tigers answered on the very next play, scoring on 69-yard run and extending the lead to 36-12.
With Blacksher unable to generate a positive on the next series of downs, the ball was punted away and returned for another 60-yard Tiger touchdown and a 42-12 lead.
With just over three minutes left to play in the half, the Tigers scored again on an 11-yard run and took a commanding, 49-12 lead into the halftime locker.
JUB added points on the board one more time, scoring on a fourth-quarter Morgan Dean 24-yard run, bringing the final score to 49-19.
Owens went 2 for 4 passing for 31-yards and also had 14 carries for negative 21 yards. Dean tallied 14 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown, Nathan Cole chipped in one carry for 13 yards and Hill had a catch for a touchdown and a kick return for a touchdown.
“We knew going into this week that we would have trouble,” Sims said. “We are a young team and we have some adjustments to make. We need to get to know what we have and how to use each person.”
The Bulldogs will have this week off as they prepare to take on Monroe County on Thursday, September 3.