Multiple Teams · Buffaloes Take Showdown in Forsan 26-20

In Week 10 of the 2016 season, both Forsan and Stamford were chasing the final playoff spot on the line. The Buffaloes featured Bryce Hegert at quarterback and Garrett Evans as the leading receiver with Tearell McVae at running back. The Bulldogs were led by Wesley Gonzales behind center and his favorite target, receiver, Lonnie Applin. RJ Smith was asked to handle most of the running duties as leading running back due to an injury to Steven Johnson.

On the opening kickoff, RJ returned the ball into Forsan territory, but on the third play from scrimmage turned the ball over on a fumble at the Buff’s 36 yard line. Forsan took advantage as Hegert connected to Austin Darden on a 65 yard pass and catch to take an early 7-0 lead. Both teams went three and out on the next two possessions, but the Bulldogs won the battle for field position as Stamford took over at the Buff’s 28 yard line. With a first down pass to Aggassi Hernandez down to the 16 and a Forsan penalty, Gonzales hit Applin with an 8 yard touchdown pass and Caden Mathis tied the score at seven all. Forsan took the kickoff and with a heavy dose of Hegert and McVae moved the ball down to the Bulldog three yard line. After a penalty moved the ball back to the thirteen, the defense picked off a pass in the end zone and the Bulldogs set up shop at the thirty yard line. Stamford moved the ball to midfield as the quarter ended.

On the first play of the second quarter, Forsan intercepted a pass and two plays later, the Buffaloes scored on a 37 yard scoring strike from Hergert to regain the lead 14-7. Again after each team stalled on offense, Stamford took over at the Buff twenty five. From the five yard line, Smith took it in for the score and Mathis split the uprights for a 14-14 tie.The Bulldog defense forced a punt on the next possession, and the offense took advantage of the opportunity, moving the ball down the field to the Forsan three yard line. After a time out by Coach Casey, Smith ran the ball in for a score and Mathis’ PAT was wide and with less than five minutes in the opening half, the Bulldogs took a 20-14 lead. Forsan answered quickly on a 10 yard touchdown run by McVae, but the PAT didn’t find the mark and the score was knotted up at 20 with 2:09 left in the half. The Buffs took over after three quick incomplete passes and a partially blocked punt with 1:57 on the clock. After two plays, Zach Duran stepped in front of a Buffalo receiver for an interception and returned it to midfield, but on the final play of the half the Bulldogs were stopped at the 20 yard line.

Forsan opened the third quarter with a six play drive that ended with a tipped pass that was pulled in by Darden for a Forsan touchdown. The PAT missed its mark and the Buffs took a 26-20 lead on the game’s fourth lead change. Both offenses struggled to move the ball for most of the third quarter.

Opening the final quarter of play, the Bulldogs mounted a drive into Forsan territory. On a fourth down and five at the Buffs eighteen, Austin Darden picked off a pass and after a penalty on the return took over at their own forty three. The Bulldogs defense held and with less than ten minutes set up shop on their own thirty four. Driving deep into the Forsan end of the field the Dogs failed to convert on a fourth down and twelve from the twenty nine yard line. The Bulldog defense forced a three and out to give the offense the ball at their own forty five with 4:41 left in the game. On a fourth and three, the Forsan defense came up with the stop with 1:40 left in the game and ran out the clock for a 26-20 victory and the final playoff spot.