By SHAWN YORKS
• Daily Leader
FORGAN, Okla. — When does a mercy rule victory hurt the winner?
When you’re the Forgan Bulldogs and you’re trying to keep your skills sharp to make a deep run in the playoffs.
Forgan’s 45-0 win over the Goodwell-Yarbrough Eagles on Thursday night in soggy, blustery Forgan — which was called off at 2:18 of the third quarter — lifted the Bulldogs to 7-1 overall, 6-0 in District C-1. But Goodwell (0-8, 0-6) didn’t give the Bulldogs much of a challenge which, while it might look good on paper, doesn’t really help Forgan.
“I don’t know that it helps us a lot,” said Forgan head coach Doug Bowles. “(Goodwell’s) young, they’re getting better every week. We’re a lot better than they are. We didn’t get a whole lot of work for our starters.”
Bowles pulled all of his starters in the second quarter, but there didn’t seem to be a drop-off.
Goodwell’s goal seemed to be to keep Forgan’s offense off the field as much as possible. After taking the opening kickoff and starting at its own 12, Goodwell gained about seven net yards before attempting a fake punt. The trickery worked as quarterback Ryan Bryant completed a 14 yard pass to keep things going.
But it was only temporary as the Eagles were eventually forced to punt into the stiff south wind.
Forgan took the ball at the 42, and two keepers by Rhett Radcliff gained nothing. But that, too, was only temporary. Dusty Armstrong carried to the Goodwell 37, and two Radcliff runs took it to the Eagle 27. Radcliff then took a keeper around the right side and scampered 27 yards for the score and a 6-0 advantage.
Goodwell’s next punt was partially blocked, giving Forgan the ball at the Eagle 27. Two plays later, Armstrong was in the end zone after a 17-yard run and the Bulldogs were up 12-0.
Tanner Jones recovered a Goodwell fumble on the next possession, and on the next play, Radcliff was in the end zone after a 46-yard run and Forgan led 18-0 with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
Goodwell followed up with its best drive of the night, taking the ball from its own 41 to the Forgan 39. Most of that thanks to a 10-yard holding penalty on the Bulldogs.
Goodwell punted, giving the ball to the Bulldogs at their own 15. But that was no problem, as Matt Morris took the first hand-off of the possession and rambled 85 yards for a touchdown. Radcliff’s conversion run made it 26-0 with 10:39 to go in the second.
Forgan’s next score came at 4:03 of the second when Dalton Lemieux raced 35 yards for a score and a 32-0 lead.
The Bulldogs scored again with 21 seconds to go in the first half when Trevin Lopez ran in from the 18 to complete a 73-yard drive that took five plays. Armstrong added the kick and Forgan led 39-0 at halftime.
The Bulldogs ended the game with 2:18 to go in the third when Lemieux ran in from 29 yards out to invoke the mercy rule.
So while the starters only got minimal work against a sub-par opponent, Bowles was happy his second unit got some quality action.
Forgan travels to Beaver County rival Balko next Friday night. And while Balko is “Getting better,” Bowles said, the Bison are still in rebuilding mode at 2-5 overall.
Goodwell had 31 yards of rushing offense, and Bryant was 2-of-7 passing for 21 yards.
Dalton Lemieux had 56 yards rushing for Forgan, Trevin Lopez 78 yards, Radcliff 83, Armstrong 67, Morris 95 yards and Luis Ordoñez 29 yards. Lemieux completed one pass for 15 yards to Jace Kerr as the Bulldogs only attempted two passes all night.