By Jeremy McDonald
MILL CITY, Ore.– There was a strange feeling as Culver Ben Nanez punched it in from three-yards out and the Bulldogs capitalizing on a scoop-and-score to cut into Santiam’s 23-0 lead that they were about to make the Wolverines Homecoming Night all too close for comfort.
At 4-0 entering the game, Culver recovered an onside kick with 1:14 left in Santiam’s 23-14 win with the challenge placed to the Wolverines to stop them when they needed to. Together as a brotherhood, they were ready to work and fight.
“We’ve been together for a long time, for 17 years, we go to school with each other. Together we pick each other up,” said the Bulldogs Justyce Loredo. “So if one goes down, we all go in and pick him up. We’re going to keep fighting, keep fighting no matter what. Even if it’s 60-0, 23-0 anything, we’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to keep working because we’ve built a brotherhood together and we’re here to work.”
Loredo rushed for 48 yards while going 9-for-18 for 82 yards in the game as Santiam, looking for their third win of the season and to keep up with Kennedy and Culver in the league standings, had played strong defense throughout the game as their offense slowly built some momentum behind Brody Davidson.
After battling through penalties, seven in the game with two calling back touchdowns, Davidson had rushed for two touchdowns and caught another from freshman quarterback Ezra Downey. The Senior running back collected 106 rushing yards on 23 carries to go with two receptions for 22 yards.
“It was super important for the second-place in league so far, we just needed this, Keeping our heads, doing our assignments. We do assignment football game and there’s a zero on the board.” said Davidson coming down the stretch of the game. “Things are happening, it’s super important to stop their momentum. Momentum is a dangerous thing, it gives them hope and it’s dangerous.”
The Bulldogs tried to spread out the Wolverine offense playing without Kobe Dyer and Quinten Cook due to injury suffered earlier in the game, but Santiam stepped up in the pressure situation to force Culver to turn the ball over on downs to seal the victory.
“We just stayed in there and preserver through their scores and didn’t let it get down on us. We just kept playing football,” said JD Hakanson, who had two interceptions for the Santiam defense. “We played great as a team and individually.”
With a short week coming up, the Wolverines have that rare ‘bye’ week to heal up and prepare for Sheridan on October 25. For the Bulldogs however, they’ll look to rebound from their first loss of the season when they host Colton on Thursday night.
“We’re just going to hit it hard in practice, come together closer, get some more bonds and next week we’re going to go at it and hit it hard,” said Loredo.
“We’ll be ready. We’re going to get them healed, get some rest they’ll be back and ready to go by the time for Sheridan week,” said Davidson.