The Culver Bulldogs traveled to Rogue River High School Sept. 13, defeating the Chieftains 19-16 in a nonconference game.
Culver took charge early in the game, scoring two rushing touchdowns in the first half. The Bulldogs' defense held strong once again, not allowing any points. Culver had a 13-0 lead over Rogue River after two quarters of play.
"Our defense is holding up," head coach Shea Little said. "We are keeping it super simple. They know where to line up and they know their responsibilities. We are not adding anything this week, but we did add some stunts and blitzes last week and they seemed to grasp those pretty easy. Josh Davis (Culver defensive coach) is doing a good job calling it."
The Chieftains came ready to play in the second half, scoring a touchdown and 2-point conversion early, cutting the Bulldogs' lead down to 13-8.
Later in the game, a punt to Culver was muffed (fumbled) by the Bulldog return man. Rogue River recovered the ball at the Culver 20-yard line and punched the ball in for a score a few plays later.
The Chieftains converted on another 2-point conversion and Culver found themselves down 16-13 in the second half.
Culver didn't lose focus and their offense put together a long drive that would end in another Bulldog touchdown. Culver took a 19-16 lead near the end of the game and Culver's defense was able to stop Rogue River. Culver is now 2-0 overall.
"They played really tough and it was a real physical game," Little said. "We still missed a lot of our assignments, not knowing our responsibilities, so we still need to polish a lot. We are not going to insert a lot of stuff, just working on the things we have put in."
"We turned the ball over three times in crucial moments," he said. "It was just a tough, physical game and the kids played tough on both sides. Rogue River was flying around and our kids really stepped it up. One thing we were really happy about was how they handled adversity."
"The first game we didn't have much adversity even with a lot of mistakes last game," Little said. "One thing we were proud of the kids was staying together as a team, focusing on their jobs through the adversity, not getting emotional or down. We had about four or five minutes where the team was down emotionally, but they put a long drive together, punched it in and then held strong on defense to finish the game strong."
The Culver Bulldogs are playing another 2-0 team this week and a league opponent. Culver is at home for the first time this season, taking on Gervais at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20.
In the first two outings of the season, Culver is averaging 29 points per game, while their strong defense is only giving up eight points per game. Gervais has been lighting up the scoreboard on offense, averaging 39 points per game, but also giving up 23 points per game on defense.
"Gervais is our first league game and they run a different style of offense, but still a little similar to things we have seen," said Little. "They run that double wing with real tight splits and we need to wedge everything. We are going to make adjustments on defense to handle that and offensively, just focus on our responsibilities."
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