Bulldogs top Taft for third straight year


CELINA-The Clay County Bulldogs topped Taft Youth Center for the third straight year and started the David Maxfield era as coach with a 26-16 win here Friday night.

The Bulldogs overcame four turnovers, two of which accounted for the Taft scoring, thanks in large part to a stingy defensive effort which included five takeaways of their own, and three scoring passes by sophomore signal-caller Marshall Burch. 

Burch tossed scoring passes to Shawn Garrett covering 35 and 30 yards in the first two quarters. Taft responded with a 30-yard fumble recovery for a score as the first quarter came to a close, briefly taking the lead. 

Clay led 14-8 at intermission on the second Burch to Garrett hookup, and pushed the lead to 20-8 as Burch hit Nick McDonald with a three-yard strike at the 10-minute mark of the third period.  Burch’s first three completions of the game all went for TDs. 

Taft closed the gap to 20-16 with another fumble return for a score, this one covering 55 yards, but the Bulldogs gained some breathing room and closed out the scoring on a two-yard smash by Nick Stephens early in the fourth.

In addition to the five takeaways, the Bulldogs gave Taft only 43 total yards for the game.  

Tailbacks Nick Cox (81 yards) and Justin Owens (71) carried most of the load on the ground for Clay County. 

The Bulldogs have next week off, and will travel to Monterey in a crucial region contest September 4.

Get more details on the Bulldogs win over Taft in the August 26 print edition of the HORIZON.