Bulldogs drop heartbreaker to Slaters

MANCHESTER - After a touchdown pass by sophomore quarterback Ryan Alexander made the game 35-34 with Burr and Burton Academy leading, Fair Haven came back out onto the field to attempt the two point conversion.

After the snap the ball went to senior running back Tyler Rice who had been one of the driving offensive forces for the Slaters (6-3) throughout the evening. Rice ran it up the gut, but BBA stopped his forward progress. While at first it appeared BBA had come up with the crucial stop to cap a come from behind victory, Rice tossed the ball backwards to Alexander who picked it up off the ground and ran for the corner. A few seconds later the Slater faithful erupted as Alexander got inside the pylon and the referee signaled the two point conversion was good, giving Fair Haven the 36-35 lead with 8.6 seconds left to play.

When BBA coach Jason Thomas first saw the play unfolding he said initially he felt "pretty good about it."

"They're throwing the ball backwards on a two point conversion because we've got them stopped," said Thomas. "And when he got driven back to me the play is over. He was getting pushed back so forward progress is stopped."

A significant penalty on the drive came with Fair Haven around the 25 yard line when BBA was called for a face mask. The penalty set up first and eight for the Slaters, which led to the eventual game winning score.

The Bulldogs (4-5) dug themselves a hole early in the game, getting behind 22-6 by the end of the first quarter.

BBA got the scoring started with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Griffin Stalcup to Seth Wilkins.

The lead did not last long though as on the kickoff sophomore wide receiver Lucas Czarnecki ran the ball back 73 yards off the reverse.

After a pair of touchdowns by Rice - one a 30-yard rush - BBA began mounting a comeback.

"They made a ton of plays and Jason does a phenominal job of getting his players to play better and better as the year goes on. He always finishes strong," said Fair Haven coach Brian Grady.

The Bulldogs put together a 10 play 90-yard drive that was capped with a quarterback keeper by Stalcup who got hit just outside the pylon, but got into the end zone on the second effort.

After forcing the Slaters (6-3) into a 3 and out on the first series of the third quarter, BBA narrowed the margin 22-20 after a 12-yard touchdown run by Will Tucker that ended an eight play 52-yard drive.

On the next series BBA took the 26-22 lead when Stalcup hit Austin Kemper who ran 27 yards for the touchdown. With a four point lead, Thomas went for two and Stalcup connected - hitting Ryan Smith in the corner of the end zone.

Alexander tied the game with a one yard rush. But on the next series a 30 yard rush by Will Tucker set up a four yard Dalton Blackwell touchdown to make it 35-28.

Stalcup went 15-26 with 155 yards passing and three TDs - one rushing. Tucker rushed for 32 yards and had one touchdown.

Tyler Rice had 125 yards on the ground and Alexander went 7-19 and threw for 67 yards. He also rushed for 19 yards.


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