November 8, 2013

Blanchard takes district in rivalry win

Jake McGuire
The Express-Star


In a game that came down to the wire, Blanchard secured a district title with a win over Tuttle Friday night.

On the opening drive of the game, Blanchard appeared they would score first after running back Braden Stringer had a 51 touchdown run on a stretch play, but the touchdown was called back and the Lions had to punt it away. Tuttle didn’t have much better luck on their opening drive as they were forced to punt as well. However, the Tigers found a better way to get on the board after a muffed punt by Blanchard’s Braden Bush on the Lions 20 yard line. The turnover resulted in field goal for the Tigers. Tuttle caught another break on Blanchard’s next drive after quarterback Blake Owen fumbled deep in Blanchard territory resulting in a 18 yard touchdown run by Tuttle’s Jesse Gregory to make the score 10-0 midway through the first quarter. 

Blanchard answered Gregory’s touchdown run with a touchdown of their own, on a 79 yard touchdown run from Braden Stringer. 

The Tigers recorded a safety on a botched punt with two-and-half minutes remaining in the first half. On the ensuing free kick, Tuttle’s Morgan Neal found a seam and had a good return to the Blanchard 23 yard line. Two plays later, Tuttle took advantage and added another touchdown on a 24 yard run by Jesse Gregory, to score as well as succeed on the two-point conversion to make the score 28-20 to end the half.  

The Blanchard defense didn’t let Tuttle take advantage of a second half opening draft and made them turn it over on downs after a failed fourth down conversion deep in Lion territory. The Blanchard offense was driving and on the Tiger 14 yard line when quarterback Blake Owen fumbled. 

Staring the fourth quarter and the Tigers on their own 20 yard line, Blanchard came up with the stop once again and started on the Tuttle 36 yard line after a short punt. After a pass interference penalty committed by the Tigers, Braden Stringer scored on a 19 yard touchdown run to make the score 35-20 and a two possession game early in the fourth quarter.  Tuttle answered on a 70 yard kick return for a touchdown by Morgan Neal and another successful two-point conversion attempt to make the score 35-28. 

With three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Blanchard’s Braden Bush intercepted a pass from Tuttle quarterback Jett Jobe to give the ball back to the Lions. Blanchard ran out the clock and clinched 3A district one in a 35-28 victory over rival, Tuttle.