Bulldogs battle adversity, mistakes to defeat Milton
MANCHESTER — It wasn't the best performance they have put on display this season, but the Burr and Burton football team overcame a handful of miscues and were once again victorious, defeating Milton 54-20 to improve to 3-0.
In the first half, turnovers were a big killer for the Bulldogs.
BBA started the game scoring on their first offensive possession, thanks to a 43 yard slip screen touchdown pass from quarterback Griff Stalcup to wideout Carter Vickers to grab an early 7-0 lead.
On the very next possession, the turnover bug started to hit the Bulldogs.
After forcing the Milton offense to go three-and-out, the Bulldogs got caught in a terrible spot when a short Yellowjackets punt hit the helmet of a BBA player, allowing Milton to recover the ball and keep possession.
It was no harm done for the Bulldogs who once again forced a punt, but again BBA couldn't corral it when the ball went through the hands of punt returner Sam Cottrell and the Yellowjackets recovered.
But Cottrell made up for his fumble right away, scooping up a fumble off a mishandled snap by the Milton quarterback and ran it back for a 50 yard touchdown to extend the Bulldogs lead to 14-0.
"We played very sloppy there in the first half," said BBA coach Jason Thomas. "We committed too many turnovers and had a few missed assignments. I'm happy to see that the kids did well battling through the adversity, but like I told them all week, we have to be prepared for a tough battle against any team we face."
Milton cut the lead on the next possession when Tyler McRae scored on a 26-yard touchdown run to pull within six points of the Bulldogs after a successful two-point conversion.
BBA answered the Yellowjackets' score with one of their own on their next possession with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Stalcup to Jay McCoy to make it a two possession game again.
After a ineligible player down field call forced a Milton touchdown to be called back, the Bulldogs capitalized again when Stalcup and Vickers hooked up again, this time on a beautiful 55-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-8.
"It was huge for us to after Milton gained the momentum at the end of the first quarter to comeback with two quick scores to extend the lead," Stalcup said. "That really helped us get into a better flow on offense and seize control of the game."
For the rest of the second quarter, turnovers became a factor again as Stalcup was picked off twice in the quarter and the Bulldogs had another fumble and BBA went into the break ahead 20 at 28-8.
BBA committed five turnovers in the first half and had six turnovers overall.
The Bulldogs straightened themselves out coming out of the locker room, scoring on the first play from scrimmage on a throw back pass trick play that saw McCoy hit Vickers for a 60-yard TD, giving Vickers three touchdown receptions on the afternoon.
"I think Coach Thomas did a good job calling the right plays at the right time and I believe that helped me find open spots in the defense to work through," Vickers said. "Griff threw some nice passes to me all game and it was a total team effort on all our touchdowns this afternoon."
Stalcup sealed his day on a high note later on in the third quarter, throwing his fourth TD of the day, a 20-yarder to Jay McCoy to make it 40-8.
The Bulldogs' Taber Ameden got into the end zone on a 21-yard scoring run, set up by a Connor Simonds interception and sophomore Jake Nicholson gave BBA a total of three turnovers on the afternoon with an interception of his own on the next drive.
After Milton scored to make it a 47-14 game in the fourth , Ameden added another score with a 42-yard touchdown run to give BBA 54 points on the afternoon and their 14th straight victory.
"We're lucky to come out of here with a win after turning the ball over six times, but the team did a great job fighting through adversity all game long and did a great job coming out strong in the second half to seal the deal," Thomas said. "We still have some things we have to work on and make we clean up our mistakes for our next game."
The Bulldogs will next travel to play undefeated Burlington on Friday at 7 p.m.
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