By Wayne Crick
The trek to Dolores last Thursday (Oct. 8) did not distract, or tire, the Hotchkiss Bulldogs who gnawed their way to a 39-0 first quarter lead before finishing the half with another 13 points in the second quarter to score a 52-0 win over host Dolores. Hotchkiss’ dominating performance included Mordecai White’s 70-yard opening kickoff return for six points. Saul Cortez missed the extra point and would not be missed as the game progressed.
Adam Smith scored the Bulldogs’ second touchdown on a 28-yard run to give Hotchkiss a 12-0 lead following Cortez’s missed PAT. Hotchkiss’ next score came on a Blaine Peebles 45-yard punt return (one of three he would score) that gave the Bulldogs a 19-0 lead after freshman Maddie Brezonick booted the extra point.
Dolores was unable to move the ball in its next possession and was forced to punt the ball away to the Bulldogs. Hotchkiss quarterback Yahir Chavez got into the scoring act on a 66-yard run giving the Bulldogs a 25-0 lead after a failed two-point conversion.
With Dolores’ offense stumbling on yet another offensive series, the Bulldogs tacked on a 4-yard touchdown run from Traycer Hall to make the score 32-0 after Brezonick’s PAT kick.
Hotchkiss kept the defensive pressure on the Bears to force another punt to give the visiting Bulldogs another offensive series. This time, it was Peebles on the end of a 45-yard touchdown scoring strike from Chavez. Brezonick’s kick for the extra point made the score 39-0 in the first period of play.
The Bulldogs scored 13 points in the second quarter with Peebles scoring his third and fourth touchdowns of the game. Peebles scored his second punt return touchdown of the game from 50 yards out. Brezonick’s PAT officially sent the game into a running clock mode with Hotchkiss taking a 46-0 lead late in the second quarter. Peebles made it four touchdowns in one game with his third punt return for 45 yards. Cortez missed the extra point to make the lead 52-0 at halftime.
Hotchkiss cleared its bench in the second half with the junior varsity team playing the bulk of downs to finish the game. Neither team could generate a scoring drive and the final score was 52-0.
Dolores actually ran more offensive plays than the Bulldogs with a 45-23 edge in that department.
Chavez was Hotchkiss’ leading ground gainer with 65 yards on just one carry. Smith and White finished with 51 yards each on three carries and sophomore Dylan Prescott had 42 yards on three carries. Dolores’ Wyatt Koskie led all rushers in the game with 91 yards on 15 carries.
Defensively, Smith and Hall had five solo and five assists each with Robert Cochran finishing with four solo tackles and four assists for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs (1-0) will take on long time rival Paonia (0-1) on Friday, Oct. 16 in Hotchkiss with a 7 p.m. kickoff. Paonia lost its season, and home opener, to Rye, 13-0.