By Albert Trevino
Another commanding performance by the Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs on Thursday has set up a much-anticipated district title match to close the regular season.
The Bulldogs welcomed back their old rival Groveton Indians to Corrigan with a 45-0 shutout Thursday at homecoming. Corrigan’s varsity squad came out high-energy for the last home game and are prepared for the regular-season finale against the Centerville Tigers.
“You could see it all week that we had a tremendous amount of focus,” said Bulldog head coach Brett Ratliff. “This being a rivalry and the seniors’ last home game was special. What was even more special is that we knew this team stood in the way of what we ultimately want to accomplish. That is winning a district title and we get that opportunity against Centerville next week.”
The Indian offense failed to consistently move the chains against the recently bulletproof Corrigan defense, which allowed zero points for the fourth-straight game.
“We got that first [shutout.] They got hungry and wanted another one. Then, can we make it three and four?” Ratliff said. “Now, we go into the last game, one more shutout and we win a district title.”
Corrigan’s offense came out swinging in the spread-run game and also got comfortable airing it out during the second half.
“I thought Groveton’s defensive line was a little better than we had seen lately.” said Ratliff. “I wanted to get back to what we were doing the first four games, which was being able to hammer it when we needed to. But we have added that extra component and I think we are throwing it a lot better.”
Groveton suffered a quick three-and-out on the opening possession. The Bulldogs started from near midfield and senior back Ja’Varion Williams immediately struck with a huge run gain near the goal line.
Williams then punched in a short touchdown run to help take the early 7-0 lead.
A bad punt by the Indians later set up another short field for Corrigan. Bulldog senior quarterback Christian Guzman got a big run and pass to set himself up for a three-yard touchdown plunge to make it a two-score game.
Later in the first, Williams took a direct snap for a long run to inside the 10-yard line and would finish that drive with a short inside run to the end zone. That drive helped Corrigan establish a comfortable 21-0, still in the first.
The Bulldogs continued to mix it up on the ground early in the second and senior Anthony Harrell would cap off the next drive with a short touchdown run to further extend the lead.
Guzman kept it moving for the Bulldogs with the air attack, getting the ball inside the 5-yard line. This set up a chip-shot field goal by senior kicker Pablo Jimenez.
Later in the second, Guzman took a keeper all the way for a long touchdown to make it 38-0 by halftime.
A pass interference by Groveton’s defense set up another scoring opportunity for Corrigan to start the third quarter. Harrell immediately took an option pitch from Guzman for a 37-yard touchdown run.
Groveton got a short field with a good return on the following kickoff. A pass from Groveton senior quarterback Ean Utz to junior receiver Clifton Davis put them inside the 10-yard line.
However, the Bulldog defense made a huge fourth-down stop near the goal line to force a turnover late in the game.
This Friday’s regular-season finale will take place at Centerville, with kickoff set at 7 p.m.