El Dorado Springs (7-1) continues moving forward as the Dogs held off Skyline 28-24, Friday Oct. 12 on homecoming night. The Bulldogs are enjoying the best season of the Coach Derek Scroggins era as they continue to hold on to second place in the district standings, which would give them a home game in the upcoming district 4 playoffs.
In the meantime, Skyline fell to 5-3 after losing their second straight game. The Tigers will host Warsaw this Friday in the last regular season game of the year.
The game began with strong defensive stands by both squads, and a pair of punts; but a Skyline player muffed the Bulldog punt and El Dorado Springs recovered. Quarterback Trey Babcock then broke free for the Bulldogs, scoring on a 26-yard run as El Dorado Springs led 6-0 with 7:57 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Tigers responded with a long drive which ended with a sweep around left end by senior quarterback Trevor Russell for a 14-yard touchdown. Skyline converted a two-point conversion pass play from Russell to Jaytin DeFreece to pull in front 8-6 with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
After the touchdown, Skyline’s offense was continually stopped by El Dorado Springs, and the Tigers failed to score again until the second half.
After El Dorado's defense forced a punt, Skyline's kicker mishandled a snap and was tackled for a loss.
A nine-yard run by the Bulldogs near the end of the first quarter followed the mishandled punt attempt by Skyline, but the Tigers held on and kept El Dorado from gaining another yard on three consecutive running plays.
The failure by the Bulldog offense was followed by another strong El Dorado defensive series and another Tiger punt.
El Dorado’s offense recovered from the previous missed opportunity as Haiden Overton, a junior, gained 18 yards. Babcock scrambled for a big gain and Skyline's defense was penalized 15 yards.
A 26-yard scoring pass from Babcock to Shelby McKinney was nullified by an illegal block, yet the Bulldogs came back once again as Babcock scored on a 16-yard run. The scoring play gave the Dogs a 12-8 lead during the second quarter and momentum continued to carry El Dorado Springs.
A while later, the Bulldogs recovered a Skyline fumble. The drive stalled, however, and El Dorado settled for a 21-yard field goal and a 15-8 advantage as time ran out in the first half.
Haiden Overton opened the second half with a 65-yard touchdown run for the Bulldogs and an extra point kick by Housh extended El Dorado's advantage to 14 points, 22-8 only 14 seconds into the second half.
During the third quarter, Skyline's offense managed to move the football before scoring on a 37-yard pass play from Russell to Preston Scott with 6:47 left. The two-point conversion pass, also from Russell to Scott, pulled Skyline within six points, 22-16.
Late in the third quarter, El Dorado's defense stepped up to force another Skyline punt and once again the Dogs moved the football with a series of impressive running plays.
The punt backed up El Dorado Springs near its own goal line, then Keilan Jacques was given his chance to run with the ball. Twice he ran up the middle and, on both plays, the Tigers needed multiple defenders to bring him to the ground. The plays featuring Jacques set the stage for sophomore Gaven Morgan.
On a play called ram right, Morgan saw his offensive line open up a hole which led to a 63-yard touchdown run. The PAT kick failed, so the Bulldogs led 28-16. The run came with 16 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Skyline’s offense managed to put together a series of pass completions before scoring with 5:08 remaining in the game on a 27-yard pass from Russell to Trey Swearingin and another two-point conversion via a pass to DeFreece. Still the Tigers trailed 28-24.
Witt picked up a first down on a nine-yard run, but the Bulldogs could not move the ball any more on the possession and punted.
However, Skyline had very little time left in the game to mount a final comeback and the Bulldog defense closed out the contest with an interception by Preston Robinson.
The game was played in wet and muddy conditions. It was the final home game of the regular season for the Bulldogs.