The Wortham Bulldogs lost their final home game and their fifth consecutive game to the Grapeland Sandies and were eliminated from the playoff hunt 35-18 on Friday night at historic Bulldog Stadium.
Wortham and Overton are both winless in district play and will face off against each other Friday in Overton and it will be the final game of the season for both teams.
Grapeland scored first and would not lose the lead the rest of the night. Junior quarterback Rick Frauenberger passed to Tyrin Wiley for a 47-yard scoring play. The two play drive put points on the board with 5:57 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bulldog defense stopped the Sandies the rest of the quarter, but the Bulldog offense could not move during the quarter.
The Grapeland offense scored just before the half ended. Beginning at their own 23-yard line, the Sandies scored on the tenth play of the drive. Frauenberger completed four of six passes on the drive but it was his legs that finished the drive with a five-yard run.
Grapeland scored on their first possession of the second half on another long drive. This one from 75 yards away and took 11 plays. James Coleman hauled in a six-yard pass in the back corner of the end zone for the touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
Wortham put together a good drive for their first points. Starting at their own 32-yard line, the Bulldogs got carries of 14 and seven yards from Stephon Ester to get to near midfield. He had a carry down inside the five and finished the drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone. The two point conversion was no good and the lead stood at 21-6.
Grapeland answered that score with another on a quick drive with their best starting field position of the night. Wiley caught a 24-yard pass and Brayden Cheatham caught a 21 yarder inside the Bulldog ten. Cheatham scored on a seven-yard run to raise the lead to 28-6.
Wortham answered in the busy third quarter. Four of the five plays on the 62-yard drive were carries from Ester. The last one was a 33-yard burst up the middle for the score and the lead stood at 28-12.
The Bulldogs forced a punt and cut into the lead to make the game interesting. On the first play, the Bulldogs lost six yards and Ester rushed for one yard. On third down, freshman quarterback Breven Tobola completed a pass to Ryan Mao for eight yards. The Bulldogs decided to go for it on fourth down and Tobola tossed deep to Braxton Whaley. He outjumped the defender and caught the ball and raced for a touchdown to complete the 72-yard play and cut the lead to 28-18.
The Sandies needed only one play to put the game up to three scores and set the final score. Brannon Bedre took the sweep and raced through the Bulldog defense for a 53-yard touchdown and the eventual final score of 35-18.
Stephon Ester carried 33 times for 242 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the night.
Tenaha and Timpson lead the district and play each other for the district title. Grapeland and Mount Enterprise also face off against each other for the final two spots.
(Photo by Jennifer Lansford)