When Buchanan running back Kendall Milton left the game after the Bear’s first drive due to an aggravation of a thigh injury he sustained in week one against Narbonne, a huge piece of the team’s offensive puzzle went right along with him.
No matter, it seemed, as the Bear’s running backs Caden Rogers and Dante Lawson more than picked up the slack in the team’s dominating 28-14 victory over Bullard on Friday, Aug. 30.
“I think I performed pretty well, stepping in for [Milton] is big shoes to fill. Coach always says next man up and I always have to be ready to go in,” Rogers said.
Rogers found the endzone twice on the night, including on the Bears’ second possession of the game, on a 4-yard rush to put Buchanan ahead 7-0.
Rogers found the goal line once more later on in the second half on yet another 4-yard rush as he bulldozed multiple Bullard defenders on the way paydirt.
His fellow quite literal running mate Lawson scampered his way into the promised land from 4-yards out, a distance that proved to be somewhat of a theme for Bears’ touchdowns.
Despite throwing an interception on the first pass of the game, Bears quarterback DJ Stevenson inarguably had a better performance than in week one against Narbonne Gauchos
Unlike against the Gauchos, Stevenson was fairly accurate with his throws, and it showed on his 5-yard touchdown pass to Darrien Gaines to put the Bears up 14-0 in the second quarter.
And the Buchanan made the points stand.
Several times, Bullard appeared poised to put the ball in the endzone but the Bears’ defense came up roses with big stops in the first half, including a forced fumble strip by defensive back CJ Jones, which he returned all the way down to the Bullard 10 yard line.
Despite the defensive efforts, though, head coach Matt Giordano felt that the unit left some plays out on the field that he believes the team should have made.
“I think there were some missed opportunities out there,” Giordano said. “They showed great poise early in the game. We had a couple turnovers and they did a good job getting off the field. I am proud of them for that. This is another game we have to learn from.”
With the victory, Buchanan moves to 1-1 on the season while Bullard drops to 0-1.
The Bears will look to build on the momentum they established with the win as the team hits the road for the first time in 2019 against Edison High (0-2), which fell to Clovis West 25-7 on Thursday, Aug. 29.
Bullard will take on the Clovis High Cougars (2-0) at Ratcliffe Stadium Sept. 6. The Cougars defeated favored Stockdale 41-15 on Aug. 30.