By Albert Trevino
The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs were struck with a 48-6 blowout loss for the season opener Friday at Bulldog Stadium.
An early assault on the young varsity Bulldogs was too much to overcome during the week one matchup at home.
“They got punched in the mouth and now we have to respond, but I know that they can,” said Bulldog head coach Brett Ratliff. “I saw growth defensively in the second quarter. We could not capitalize on some things offensively, but I knew that would be an issue for the first couple of games.”
Buna opened the first drive with an aerial assault, as Cougar senior quarterback Toby Marse completed a first-down pass to senior receiver Kayden Dill, then immediately threw a bomb along the opposite sideline to Dill to get inside the five-yard line.
This set up a short touchdown run by Cougar senior back Jacob Johnson, followed by a quick pitch to junior Billy Robinson III for the two-point conversion. That gave Buna the early 8-0 lead.
Buna continued their attack on the following kick, an onside recovered by the Cougars, stealing a possession opportunity for Corrigan.
Shortly after, Johnson stunned the Bulldog defense by easily breaking through the middle for a 42-yard touchdown for Buna to extend to two-score lead.
“Starting at 14-0 with really no offensive snaps is going to be tough,” said Ratliff. “They had a great first drive and made a great catch. As I said before, their running back and quarterback are two of the best we will see this year.”
Bulldog freshman running back Damere Arneson helped Corrigan finally respond with a huge kickoff return, which would get Corrigan down to the Buna 14-yard line.
However, Corrigan’s offense could not do much from scrimmage to near the goal line, instead backed up by a penalty to turn the ball over on downs.
Johnson would eventually get Buna to the 12-yard line, then a touchdown pass to Dill would cap off that drive for a 28-0 halftime lead with the two-point conversion.
Dill started things for Buna in the third quarter with a 55-yard punt return would extend the Cougar lead to 36-0.
Corrigan-Camden’s offense would later get well into Cougar territory off a flag. Bulldog sophomore quarterback William Ratliff converted a first down on a designed run near the red zone. On a crucial fourth-and-short, Arneson would push through for another first.
Corrigan later found themselves backed up on a fourth-and-long in the red zone. Ratliff found senior receiver Bryce Lawrence open at the goal line 10 yards for the first Bulldog touchdown of the season. This made it 36-6 entering the fourth quarter.
Johnson had another huge run for Buna to get inside the five-yard line. Then, followed that up by coasting up the middle for the touchdown run to extend Buna lead, 42-6.
Another Bulldog drive in the closing minutes was squashed on a fumble recovery by the Cougars, taking it all the way for one final score.