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The Bret Harte Bullfrogs croaked against the Amador High School Buffalos 34-27 in a hard fought battle that saw them lose a first quarter lead and extend their league record to 0-3.
Coach Casey Kester acknowledged the team’s struggles throughout the season, and grieved the fact that the team had given up the early lead.
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“It’s hard to be dominant for the whole game when we are out-muscled, out-sized,” he said.
“We’re struggling right now. We lost two more tonight,” he added, noting at least eight other players were sidelined during the night’s game, mostly due to injury.
But early on, the Bullfrogs looked eager to snap that losing streak, as quarterback Ryan Kraft bustled to the sideline and sprinted over 50 yards for the opening touchdown of the game. Two minutes in, the Bullfrogs had already set out an important morale boosting lead.
The defense also matched the first quarter enthusiasm, keeping Amador from gaining a first down on their first possession.
Senior wide receiver Julian Gonzalez later caught a quick pass from Kraft in the final two minutes of the quarter, and with some fancy footwork to avoid an oncoming Buffalo, brought it another touchdown.
The Bullfrogs began to lose that momentum in the second quarter. A high snap brought them back deep in their own territory, yards from their own goal line. The next play, an interception from Amador brought the score to 14-7.
The Bullfrogs were not out of the count yet though, and responded with first down plays, and eventually gaining another touchdown from quarterback Karson Kirk. A missnap on the PAT kept the score at 20-7.
Amador picked up points of their own before the half rang in, beating a pass over the blitz to a receiver who fumbled the ball. Another Amador player picked it up to bring in an opposing touchdown.
Then, a partially blocked punt gave Amador field position in the final seconds for a 41-yard field goal.
The half ended at 20-17.
The Buffaloes took their first lead of the game on their first possession. And despite Bret Harte’s efforts to keep morale high, misfortune continued to strike. A fumble returned the ball to Amador, and over the next many minutes and into the fourth quarter, Bret Harte could not retain the tempo that brought them the early lead.
Amador put in another touchdown and a field goal in the final five minutes, widening their lead to 14.
The Bullfrogs made a meaningful effort to even the score, and with a tricky pass and later pitch play, they narrowed the gap to 7 points.
Still, the onside kick went awry, and in the last seconds they were unable to gain a first down and turned the ball to Amador.
Next week, the Bullfrogs face off against Summerville High School at home for their Senior Night.
“We’re going to have to move bodies around,” Kester said. “Summerville wants to run the ball in between the tackles so we’re going to have to shake things up.”