Coming off two consecutive victories, the Clarkdale Bulldog football team was riding a wave of momentum as they rolled into Clarke County on Friday night looking to upset the home-standing Bulldogs of Enterprise. That momentum and hope would quickly dissipate as Enterprise rode a strong defensive effort and a bruising ground game to win the contest convincingly, 35-0.
Enterprise would waste little time setting the tone for the game. After forcing a Clarkdale punt on their opening possession, Enterprise would take the ball and march 73-yards in five plays to the endzone. Ridge Kidd would do the honors for Enterprise, blasting across the goal line from six yards out for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was denied but Enterprise led 6-0 midway through the first quarter.
Clarkdale would put together it’s longest drive of the night on their next possession, driving deep into Enterprise territory. Facing a 4th-and-1 from the Enterprise 12-yard line, Clarkdale attempted to run a quick pitch around left end. Enterprise cornerback Daniel Swain would step up and make a first down saving tackle to force a turnover on downs.
Although Enterprise would immediately go back to work on the ground, a big pass completion would set up their next score. Driving to midfield, the Bulldogs would connect on a 36-yard completion from quarterback Derryon Gray to wingback Ridge Kidd. The completion would set the Bulldogs up at the 16-yard line where, on the next play from scrimmage, Gray would run in for the touchdown. The 16-yard scoring run, followed by a successful two-point pass completion from Gray to John Campbell, would extend the Enterprise lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter.
Trailing 14-0 and returning from the halftime intermission, Clarkdale knew they would need a defensive stop on the opening possession of the second half. Enterprise and their wing-t attack had different plans, however. Starting at their own 28-yard line following the kickoff, Enterprise would march 72-yards in 10 plays to find the endzone once again. The drive not only gave the Bulldogs a commanding 20-0 lead, but it also chewed up over seven minutes of game time, further diminishing any hopes of a comeback from the visitors.
Clarkdale, unable to pick up a first down on their next possession, would punt the ball away and the Bulldogs would look to put the game away. An Enterprise fumble, however, would give Clarkdale a chance at new life. As they did all night, the home-standing Bulldog defense would stand tall, forcing an incompletion on 4th-and-19 inside their own 30-yard line.
The Bulldogs would be unable to sustain a drive on the ensuing possession, returning the ball to Clarkdale after a failed 4th down conversion attempt. The Enterprise defense would not have to stay on the field long; however. Enterprise defensive lineman Kolby Turner would recover a Clarkdale fumble at midfield putting the host team back on offense.
It would not take long for Enterprise to capitalize on the turnover. Junior Kristian Milsap would run 35-yards for a touchdown just two plays later and, following the successful two-point conversion, Enterprise led 28-0 early in the fourth quarter.
The “Mad Dawg” defense of Enterprise would show its teeth on the subsequent kickoff as a big hit would jar the ball loose and Jakyron Chapman would dive on it for the fumble recovery.
Gray would add to the Bulldog lead a few plays later. Facing a 3rd-and-17, the agile signal-caller would keep possession on a quarterback counter and jet his way 43-yards for a touchdown. Freshman kicker Trace Roy, in his first action since sustaining a broken foot in the preseason, booted through the extra point and the Bulldogs would lead 35-0 late in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs would put an exclamation point on the victory with another fumble recovery late in the contest and would run out the remainder of the clock with a bevy of freshman and sophomores.
With the victory, Enterprise remained unbeaten upping their record to 5-0, while Clarkdale dropped to 2-3 on the campaign.
The Bulldogs were led on offense by the four-headed monster of Milsap, Cambell, Gray, and Kidd. Milsap would run for 129 yards on 12 carries, while Campbell finished with 80 yards on 9 carries. Gray and Kidd ran for 69 and 53 yards respectively.
Although finishing only 3-8 passing for 38 yards, quarterback Gray threw several would-be touchdowns that slipped through the hands of the open receivers.
Junior cornerback Daniel Swain would lead the aggressive defensive attack, which put together it’s second consecutive shutout, with 8 total tackles, including one tackle for loss and several big hits. Junior defensive end Artez Lamar would add 4 tackles, along with junior linebacker Luke Cochran.
The Enterprise football team will have a bye this coming Friday, before returning to action on October 4th for a homecoming tilt versus division foe Heidelberg. Despite the bye week, the Pride of Enterprise band will participate in their first competition this week. The Pride will travel to West Lauderdale on Saturday and perform at 10:45 am. We hope that everyone can make it to Collinsville on Saturday to support the band and their sponsors. Go Dawgs!