By Justin Gray
The ECI Bulldogs needed a big win against Jenkins County to secure a home playoff game. Jenkins County was 5-3 coming in and the Dawgs were 3-5, both teams were 1-1 in region play. The Dawgs got the ball first and were rolling until they fumbled going into the end zone and Jenkins County recovered. The ECI defense stopped them on three plays and forced a punt.
The offense drove it down and on the fourteen yard line, the handoff was to Tuff Boddiford and he ran it in to give the Dawgs a 7-0 lead. Jenkins County responded quickly with a touchdown drive of their own tying it 7-7. The ECI offense was hot as they steamrolled down the field and Brian Steele punched it in the end zone. Jenkins County threw a deep pass and ran it in to tie it at 14. This one had the looks of a shootout.
The ECI offense was firing on all cylinders, they drove it down on a long drive and Steele ran in another touchdown and gave them the lead 21-14. Jenkins County had a chance to tie it before the half, but their drive was cut short by a big interception made by David Stapleton. Going into half it was ECI 21 Jenkins County 14.
The second half was the complete opposite from the first half. Jenkins County received the second half kick and went and scored to tie it at 21. The teams continued to battle and then Jenkins County kicked a field goal and made it 24-21 and that was the score after three tough quarters of football.
Both teams would be stopped on downs again before the ECI offense drove it down the field and left it in the hands of Kicker Oisin Matthews and he drilled the 32-yard field goal to tie it at 24. There was only two minutes left to play when Jenkins County got the ball back. They moved quickly and after a couple penalties hit the running back out of the backfield to score. There were 20 seconds left for the Bulldogs to try and score down by seven. They threw up a prayer, but Jenkins County came down with it and the Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker.
ECI will have a chance to bounce back this week against Montgomery County on the road. Regardless of the result this week, ECI will be in the state playoffs. Go cheer on the Bulldogs in Montgomery next week.