The Hotchkiss Bulldogs were definitely the top dawgs on Friday, Oct. 26, as they dominated the Meeker Cowboys in conference play. By halftime the Bulldogs were up 28-0, giving coach Zac Lemon the opportunity to play many of his younger players in the second half and give his starters a little rest as they head into playoff action this week.
The Bulldogs end the regular season 7-2, and are seeded 10th in the 1A playoff bracket. They will begin on the road, playing Saturday in Wiggins (near Fort Morgan off I-76). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The school is located at 320 Chapman Street.
Comparing stats, the two teams are very similar — a strong running game and a stingy defense.
On the season Hotchkiss has averaged more than 300 yards rushing per game, Wiggins has averaged just over 265 yards per game. The Bulldogs averaged nearly 70 yards per game through the air, Wiggins averaged nearly 53 yards per game. The Hotchkiss offense averaged 36.6 points per game while Wiggins averaged 32 points.
Defensively, Hotchkiss gave up just over 14 points per game while Wiggins gave up 11.7 points.
The Wiggins Tigers lost only one game this year, to Wray in a 14-7 contest. Wray is seeded fourth in the 1A bracket.
The two losses for the Bulldogs were to Buena Vista (18-15) and Cedaredge (21-20). Buena Vista is top ranked going into the playoffs and Cedaredge is seeded third.
Interestly, Cedaredge is on the same side of the bracket and it is possible the Bulldogs could play the Bruins in the semi-final game.
On Friday night the Bulldogs jumped on the Cowboys quickly, scoring on their opening drive. The Bulldogs mounted another long drive on their next possession, with quarterback Josh Hardin capping off the drive with a rushing touchdown.
With an advantage of both speed and size, the Bulldog defense was able to contain Meeker's offense. Early in the second quarter the Cowboys threatened, but the Bulldogs stopped them near the goal line on fourth down.
On the next play, Hotchkiss took a lot of the fight out of the Cowboys when senior Jacobe Galley took the ball up the middle for 92 yards. On the night, Galley would find the end zone three times and roll up 280 yards of rushing.
The Bulldogs ate up much of the clock on their next sustained drive, and took a commanding four-touchdown lead when Galley scored again, this time from five yards out.
At half time Hotchkiss enjoyed a substantial 28-0 lead.
Meeker would manage a couple of scores in the second half, but in the end Hotchkiss cruised to an easy 35-12 victory.