Coach Steve Price and the Van Bulldog football team traveled to Marshall County on Friday to face the No. 6 ranked class A Cameron Dragons and after a highly competitive contest, fell 28-26.
Van (6-2) entered the contest ranked No. 8 and was prepping itself for a playoff run and a strong end to its 2016 campaign. A win at Cameron would have all but sealed a playoff appearance but coach Price knows that nothing will be given to his squad.
“Some folks are saying we are already in but I know that you have to play the games and that nothing is guaranteed,” he said. “Our kids know that.”
Bulldog running back Brady Grant carved up the Dragon defense in the first half and helped put his team up 14-0. The junior had 180 yards rushing before halftime. The field conditions were not ideal for footing, according to Price.
“It was really wet and awfully muddy,” he said. “It affected both teams and what you were able to do.”
Cameron came roaring back before halftime, taking advantage of a Bulldog turnover and scored three touchdowns in four minutes leaving Van down 22-20 at the half.
Cameron came out focused on attacking the one-two punch of Grant and senior Cole Price. Price e left the game with a knee injury and his coach (and father) said the extent of the injury has yet to be determined.
While both teams only crossed the goal line once in the second half, Grant broke free for a dazzling 65-yard run for a score that was called back on a penalty related to a missing mouthpiece by a Van player.
Coach Price said that the loss was a tough one for his squad to endure but that they will use their idle week this week to regroup and focus on their next opponent, when they host Man on Nov. 4.
“We will use this week to heal up and refocus the team,” he said. “We know what we need to do and our seniors are leading and keeping our team focused.”