Priceville wins first play-off game in school history
History was made at Priceville Friday night as the Bulldogs won their first-ever play–off game by defeating Rogers 44-23.
“I really can’t put into words what this means for us,” senior Jaxon Cross said. “It is really special to be on the first team from our school to win a play–off game.”
This victory was 13 years in the making for Priceville. They first became eligible for the playoffs in 2006 after starting their program in 2002. They made their third trip to the playoffs this year, having lost first-round games in 2015 and 2007.
“Winning the school’s first play–off game means a lot to everyone involved with the program,” said Priceville head coach Chris Foster. “I think for this group of seniors, you look at their entire journey of going 0-10 as freshmen to this year winning the school’s first play–off game – it is remarkable. It shows a lot of character about the nine young men that took up the challenge to persevere through those hard times.”
The game was a battle of rushing attacks, as the two teams combined for more than 600 yards rushing. Priceville finished with 274 yards, while Rogers had 347 yards.
The first half was all offense. Priceville scored touchdowns on three of four possessions, while Rogers scored on each of four possessions.
Cross scored the Bulldogs’ first two touchdowns of the game on runs of two and 25 yards in the first half.
Jerry Burton scored late in the second quarter on a two-yard run to briefly give the Bulldogs a 21-20 lead. Rogers took a 23-21 lead at halftime following a 33-yard field goal.
Priceville would dominate the second half, as they outscored the visiting Pirates 23-0.
The Bulldogs would take the lead for good when JJ Vallejo connected on a 23-yard field goal to give Priceville a 24-23 lead.
Priceville would get touchdown runs of 23 yards and one yard by Burton in the fourth quarter to extend their lead 37-23.
The Bulldogs’ defense forced four Rogers turnovers in the second half to help secure the victory. Three turnovers were interceptions by William Baker, Wyatt Hurt and Cross.
Cross returned his interception 70 yards for a score with 2:17 left in the game to seal the victory.
Burton finished the game with 187 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 30 carries. Cross finished the game with 66 yards rushing on nine carries and two touchdowns to go along with his interception return for a touchdown.
“I thought the second half of the game against Rogers, we played our best half of football all year,” said Foster. “Offensively we went out and set the tone early in the half with an eight-minute drive.”
Priceville (8-3) advances to the second round of the playoffs Friday night.
The Bulldogs will travel to Northport to face No. 4 Northside (10-1), the Region 5 champions. The Rams defeated Hokes Bluff 35-21 in their first-round game.