By JASON EPP
• Daily Leader
HOOKER, OKLA. — The Hooker Bulldogs saw the opportunity to win for the first time in 16 tries slip through their fingers at the one yard line - twice. The Bulldogs found themselves with their first and final drives ending inside the one as Mooreland escaped Hooker with a
The Bulldogs entered the contest knowing this was a great chance to pick up that ever elusive first win. Hooker looked to be on track when they forced the Bearcats to punt from their own 37. After a booming 56 yard punt that had the Bulldogs starting at their own 7, Joe Bean got the Bulldogs in more comfortable field position with three straight runs that gave Hooker a first down at their own 34.
Hooker went to their bag of tricks on third down and 21 when Payson Slater hit Josh Faulkner on a wide receiver reverse pass that moved the Bulldogs to the Mooreland 19.
Two consecutive offsides penalties gave Hooker a first and goal from the nine. Three runs of three yards put the Bulldogs inside the one yard line on fourth and goal, but Bean was knocked for a two yard loss and Mooreland took over at the three.
Mooreland drove to the Bulldog 40 in six plays. On the next play Mooreland's Cody Kenney appeared to be stopped for a short gain by several Bulldogs, but never went down and ended up at the Hooker three before he was tackled. Peters scored on the next play and the extra point gave Mooreland a 7-0 lead.
After bobbling the ensuing kickoff, Hooker found themselves with poor field position again, starting at their own 7. Hooker found the big play after finding themselves in third and long. On third and 16 from the 21 Chad Kennedy hit Faulkner for his second big gain of the game, this time for 71 yards to set the Bulldogs up at the nine. Bean found the endzone from 3 yards out to make the score 7-6 in favor of Mooreland. Hooker had to call a time out because extra point holder Brandon Goosen had been injured in the game. The Bulldogs decided to go for two but the conversion failed.
Hooker's next possession started at their 40 after Faulkner forced a fumble that was recovered by Bean. Three plays later Anselmo Estrada squirted through the middle from 34 yards out to give Hooker their first lead of the game. Roy Alvarado's extra point made the score 13-7.
Mooreland blocked a punt on Hooker's next possession and gave the Bearcats a first down at the Bulldogs 36 with 47 seconds left. But Bean stripped and recovered the ball at the 32, and Hooker lead 13-7 at the half.
Hooker missed an opportunity on their first drive of the second half when Mooreland was called for a personal foul penalty while Hooker was punting, and gave the Bulldogs a first down at the mid-field stripe. But Kennedy was intercepted on the ensuing play by Donnie Smith at the Mooreland 28, and was at the Hooker 36 before he was tackled.
But Mooreland was loose with the football again and Guerrero Garcia recovered the fumble for the Bulldogs at the 19. The third quarter ended with Hooker still leading 13-7.
After a Bulldog drive, Mooreland took possession at their 31 with
9:47 left. The Bearcats held on to the ball for almost seven minutes of game time. Ivan Solis scored from 3 yards out to tie the game at 13. But Payson Slater got just enough of the extra point that it fell just shy of the crossbar keeping the game tied with 2:58 left.
Bean returned the kickoff to the 37, but after two plays the Bulldogs were facing third and 11. For the third time in the game Hooker found a receiver for a big play on third and long. Bean hit Slater for 35 yards before he was brought down at the Moorland 28. Mooreland was also called for a facemask on the tackle giving Hooker the ball at the 13.
Three Bean runs put the Bulldogs at the 6 yard line on fourth down with less than 10 seconds left. After a timeout, Hooker opted to try a short field goal, but Alvarado's kick sailed wide right. We were headed for overtime.
Kennedy's pass to Slater on third down put the Bulldogs at the one for fourth down. But when Hooker lined up for the play one of the lineman was called for illegal procedure putting the ball back on the six. Bean took the shotgun snap and headed just left of center but was stopped with the ball resting inches from the goal line.
Kenny, who had gashed the Bulldogs for 136 yards on 25 carries scored on Mooreland's second play of overtime from the nine to give the Bearcats the victory at 19-13.
"We had opportunities tonight and didn't take advantage of them, said Bulldog head coach Zach Oliver. "That can happen sometime when you have a lot of young players. Our backside blocking was great, and we had great effort. It's just frustrating to not be able to get the win, especially for our seniors."
Joe Bean lead the Bulldogs with 146 yards rushing and a touchdown on
28 carries. Josh Faulkner had two catches for 127 yards.
Hooker is now 0-3 on the season, and 0-2 in district and will host
1-2 Chisholm next Friday night.
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