Dawgs come up short in smash mouth classic

Montevallo's Zac Oden tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass in a 46-36 loss to West Blocton on Oct. 3. (FILE)

Montevallo’s Zac Oden tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass in a 46-36 loss to West Blocton on Oct. 3. (FILE)

By JAY BEARD/For the Reporter

MONTEVALLO — For the Montevallo Bulldogs, the week didn’t get any better as they fell to region foe West Blocton 46-36 on Oct. 3.

Earlier in the week, the matchup appeared to be the matchup of the year between an undefeated West Blocton team and an improving Montevallo team that boasted its best opening record since 2008 of 4-2, but the Dawgs were forced to vacate three wins due to an ineligibility issue on Oct 1.

For Montevallo, the game appeared to be just beyond the grasp of the Dawgs for the majority of the contest, but the hard-hitting Dawgs were able to keep the game seemingly within reach.

In the opening drive, West Blocton carried the ball down the field in three plays, putting the Tigers up 7-0 after a 50-yard run.

On Montevallo’s opening possession, Kerry Mack fumbled, giving West Blocton the ball on the Montevallo thirty-five yard line. After a 27-yard run and an 8-yard run, the Tigers were up 14-0 with 9:35 left in the first.

For the rest of the 1st half, the Dawgs and Tigers traded possessions with nothing in return, until Zack Oden hit a wide open Keondre Bailey for a 30-yard touchdown.

The excitement didn’t last long. On third and 11, with 37 seconds left in the half, the Tigers got on the board again with a 15-yard pass to Daniel Sellers, putting West Blocton up 21-7 to end the half.

Montevallo got the ball to start the second half. In southern football fashion, with some solid blocking, the Dawgs brought the score to 21-14 after Dajon Young ran the ball in from 24 yards out.

Again, the Tigers answered quickly. With 6:13 left in the 3rd, a 23-yard scamper into the end zone capped off a 71-yard drive, bringing the score to 27-14 with 6:13 left in the third.

West Blocton seemed to be able to score at will, but the Dawgs had a chance to build a comeback until a costly penalty on fourth and inches gave the Tigers a first down and eventually a touchdown, with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter.

After recovering an onside kick, the game seemed to be in the bag for the Tigers when they found themselves in the end zone again exactly a minute later making the score 40-17 with 7:56 left in the game.

The Bulldogs didn’t lie down, though. After a botched punt attempt by the Tigers, with 4:27 seconds left in the game, Montevallo’s Daqwan Bryant took it in for six.

The Bulldogs had a little trickery up their sleeves as well. On the kickoff, Montevallo recovered an onside kick and much like their opponent and with some more help from Undreaz Lilly, the Dawgs were able to make the score 40-30 with 3:53 left in the game.

The Dawgs were able to cap off a last minute drive with a touchdown pass to Daqwan Bryant with four seconds to go in the game, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the rushing attack of the Tigers as West Blocton took a 46-36 win.

The game proved to be the “battle between the trenches” that was promised; but in the end, it ended up being a difficult loss for a Montevallo team that has risen above the occasion time and time again this season, Montevallo head coach Andrew Zow said.

“We really fought hard,” he said. “Our kids really came out tonight and we didn’t play the way we wanted to early. We gave up some big plays, but overall I think our kids fought hard towards the end. We didn’t give up. We played till the horn. It’s just been a tough week.”

The Montevallo Bulldogs will travel to Bibb County on Oct. 10 for another regional matchup. Bibb County is 5-3 on the season and 2-1 in the region.