El Dorado Springs, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Stockton Tigers (1-0) reclaimed the cherished prize of the Cedar Bowl trophy from their archrivals, the El Dorado Springs Bulldogs (0-1), on Friday with a dramatic 14-8 victory at the ‘Dog Pound.
Stockton took the lead at the 4:25 mark of the first quarter on a 12-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Garret Burns to running back Cameron Ramsey. The extra point kick by junior Reece Rutledge was wide left, and the 6-0 score held up through the remainder of the first half.
Things changed in the third quarter as El Dorado Springs sophomore Lance Molz scored the tying touchdown on a 3-yard run at the 1:58 mark, then added the two-point conversion to put the Bulldogs on top, 8-6.
The two teams continued to battle into the fourth quarter. Stockton would get the last laugh with 3:24 to go as Burns scored on a one-yard sneak, and then added a two-point pass to junior Nathan Kerr. The winning drive was set up by a fourth-and-10 conversion at the El Do 19, as junior Jake Brown connected with fellow junior Garrett Collins right at the sticks.
“We’ve got to be focused and put in four quarters,“ said Stockton head coach Shad Edwards. “We pretty much had the first and fourth quarters; we’ve got to put together the second and third. We kind of got complacent there, but we’ll be ready to go next week. To get that first win of the season after working so hard and getting those jitters out, I was really proud of how our kids fought.”
From the Bulldogs’ perspective, the deciding factors were obvious: penalties and turnovers. They coughed up the football three times on two penalties and a lost fumble, and were flagged 13 times for 95 yards (one of them negating a touchdown).
“You’re not going to be very successful with those kinds of statistics,“ said El Do assistant coach Kevin Hixson. “So, back to the drawing board, eliminate the mistakes, and hopefully we get a little more of a mental focus. That might help us.”
Burns led the Tigers with 84 yards rushing on 12 carries and completed 3-of-3 passes for 21 yards. Kerr added 83 yards on nine carries. Molz had 66 yards on 15 rushes to lead the Bulldogs.
The Tigers open Mid-Lakes Conference play at home next week against Ash Grove. El Dorado Springs, an independent team, visits Knob Noster.
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