The Altus Bulldog football team was simply too much for El Reno to handle Friday night. The final score was 49-21.
Altus spotted El Reno their first seven points due to a broken play fumble. The pitch bounced to the Bulldogs’ four yard line where it was recovered by El Reno. The Indians connected with a pass into the end zone and converted the extra point to take the 7-0 lead. Altus quickly regained momentum on the next possession.
Jake Vargas (1) and Tito Jones (22) had most of the yards. Tito put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. Jones weaved his way through 30 yards of defense to pull the Bulldogs even at 7-7.
El Reno failed to mount much of an attack. It wasn’t for a lack of effort. The Bulldogs’ defense was the main reason for El Reno’s failures. Defensive coordinator, Todd Vargas, prepared a game plan to stop El Reno and the Bulldogs executed it wonderfully.
Jayden Benway and Hassan Foye both displayed next level athleticism as they pulled in interceptions not to only stop El Reno drives in their tracks, but to give the Bulldog’s offense all the momentum it needed to put this game well out of reach early in the game.
Benway added touchdown runs of nine and 12 yards to put Altus up 21-7. Following an El Reno punt, Taven Birdow benefited from excellent line-blocking when he burst up the middle for a 50-yard touchdown run with 2:40 left before halftime.
The Bulldogs took a 28-7 lead into the half. The offense was moving the ball nicely. The defense had not allowed anything other than the four-yard score.
The linebackers were selected the day before the game as the Bulldogs of the Week. They certainly thrived on the extra attention they were getting. This group consisted of Baylor Feller, Shannon Ybarra, Sean Torres, and Hunter Cleveland. They were in the opponents backfield most of the night.
Unofficially, Hassan Foye led all Bulldogs with the most tackles.
Benway added his third touchdown of the night late in the third quarter. Birdow added the final touchdown for the Bulldogs.
On the night, Jake Vargas and Taven Birdow were over 100 yards rushing. Vargas had 104 yards on four carries with 6:50 left before half-time. Birdow had 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Benway had three scores. Gabe Barton is yet to miss an extra point or a field goal through these first four games.
It was a great team effort that gives the Bulldogs much confidence heading into the big showdown next week inside Cameron University’s stadium.
The win puts Altus at 4-0. They are now set up for the huge game on the road at defending state champion and current #1 ranked Lawton MacArthur.
Mac is 4-0 and coasted to a 54-6 drubbing of Capitol Hill on Friday. In week three, the Highlanders lit Ike up, 57-34. In week two, Mac downed Lawton High 33-12 and disposed of Clinton 33-7 in week one.
The winner of this game will have their foot on full-throttle heading to a district championship and beyond.
This is a moment that local fans have wanted for many years. The Bulldogs will be front and center come next Friday. All eyes across the state will be alerted to this game.
GO BULLDOGS !!
Reach Brad Gilbert@482-1221 ext. 2076