The Jay Bulldogs met the Vinita Hornets at home on September 27.
Since the Bulldogs had handily defeated the Grove Ridgerunners and the Ridgerunners defeated the Vinita Hornets, the expectation was that Jay would defeat the Hornets for another in the win column.
But the Hornets arrived in town ready to put the sting on the Bulldogs, ending the evening with a win, 26 to 13.
Vinita 26, Jay 13
To start the game, the Bulldogs won the toss, but deferred to Vinita.
The Hornets immediately went to work; on Vinita’s second play of the game, Hornet Kyron Downing broke free from the Hornet 20 yard line and ran it for 80 yards for a touchdown.
The Hornets tried for the extra point, but Jay blocked the kick, to get the ball on their 20 yd. line.
The Bulldogs were only able to move the ball forward one yard and had to punt the ball away.
Vinita turned that possession into another TD, with an extra point.
The Bulldogs stalled on their 33 yard line and Oscar Ayala #9 punted a 50 yard boomer, to set up the Hornets on their 30 yard line.
However, Downing once again broke free and ran 70 yards for another Vinita TD.
Jay settled down and began playing their game, driving down the field on Weston Welch #5 passes and Zach Coy #35 carries and runs culminating with Coy finding the end zone for six points.
The first quarter ended with Jay 6, Vinita 19.
The second quarter began with Vinita’s fourth down on Jay’s 15 yard line and one yard to go.
They went for it and ended up in the end zone and adding an extra point.
That would prove to be the last points they would earn, but would be enough to win the game.
The Bulldog defense kept the Hornets caged; forced a turnover on downs, Jay fumbled and recovered, then they fumbled again with the Hornets recovering.
Bulldogs forced two more Hornet fumbles, but Vinita recovered both.
As Vinita approached another TD, Jay broke up a deep pass and made the Hornets miss a field goal attempt.
Half time had Jay 6, Vinita 26.
Kaden Budder came out of the locker room after half time without his jersey, but with a wrap and ice pack on his chest, a key loss to the team.
However, in spite of the loss, the Bulldogs stepped up their play for the last two quarters.
In the third quarter both teams battled back and forth with neither adding points on the scoreboard.
Toward the end of the third quarter, the Hornets tried another field goal from the 10 yard line and missed it.
The Bulldogs took over and Coy executed a 48 yard run from that 10 yard line to Vinita’s 42 yard line, then the next play took them to Vinita’s 31 yard line.
However, a penalty against the Hornets for unsportsmanlike conduct moved Jay to the Hornet 16 yard line to begin the fourth quarter.
Bulldog Ayden Payton got it into the end zone and a point-after was added, giving the Bulldogs 13 points.
The remainder of the fourth quarter was a battle of the defenses as neither team scored any points.
The game ended with Jay 13, Vinita 26.
Coach Warren Kirk admitted, “We just came out and dug a hole we couldn’t get out of.”
He continued “We gave up big plays early in the game and had too many mistakes.”
Kirk obviously got the team’s attention after the first quarter and they began playing their game.
His ending remarks said it all: “We have to cut down on our mistakes and play Bulldog football, here on out.”
The 2-2 Bulldogs meet the 2-2 Cascia Hall Commandos at Cascia Hall on October 4 at 7 pm.