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Culver Bulldog football sees first loss of season to Santiam Wolverines in 23-14 away game loss.

STEELE HAUGEN - The Culver Bulldogs lost their first game 23-14 to Santiam Oct. 4.The Culver football team traveled to Santiam High Oct. 4, losing to the Wolverines 23-14.

That was the Bulldogs' first loss of the season, resulting in a win-loss record of 4-1, while Santiam moved to 3-2.

Culver and Santiam were both held scoreless in the first half, as the game was 0-0 heading into the third quarter.

Santiam kicked the ball off to the Bulldogs to start the third quarter, but the Wolverines were able to recover the ball and change the momentum of the game.

"If we could take that away, that would have helped us tremendously," head coach Shea Little said. "We had five or six turnovers in the game, too. It was a real physical game and I think we were pretty evenly matched. We missed some opportunities in the first half with penalties and turnovers hurting us."

"The defense played well again and stepped up," he said. "In the first half, they threw some different formations at us that confused the kids. We made some good halftime adjustments though. Offensively, we need to clean up some things. We tried to spread it out throwing and we haven't been super successful with that."

"This week, we are going to simplify things and go back to our basics," said Little. "I think maybe the formations we were throwing at the kids and going in shotgun caused a bit of confusion, fumbles and turnovers. We are going back to what we do best and try and get another W."

The Bulldogs also muffed a punt that put Santiam in good field position and the Wolverines were able to capitalize. Both teams were able to move the ball in the second half, but multiple turnovers and penalties allowed Santiam to edge out Culver 23-14.

Culver has a short week this week, playing on a Thursday, during their homecoming game. The Bulldogs (4-1) play another tough team in the Colton Vikings (4-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10.

"We have a JV game Monday, which is going to take three quarters of our team away, so we are going to stretch out practices Tuesday and Wednesday," Little said. "We are having a film session on Monday, as well. We were going to practice Sunday, but we decided to let the kids have a day off and let them heal up. We won't have our typical pregame practice on Thursday because of the game, but we are still going hard Tuesday and Wednesday, lengthening practice, so we can get our reps."

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