The Douglass Bulldogs’ incredible season came to an end on Friday night, as the Bulldogs fell to Garden Plain at home by a score of 45-6. The loss marked just the second loss of the season for the Bulldogs, both of which were to Garden Plain.
The game’s opening drive ended in a Douglass fumble that the Owls recovered on their own 37 yard line. The Owls only needed one play to put points on the board, as senior Caleb Hitt ran for a 37-yard touchdown to give Garden Plain a 7-0 lead just 37 seconds into the contest.
Garden Plain would add seven more on the next drive, as quarterback Dylan Hahn connected with Trey Smith for a 21 yard passing touchdown to put the Owls up 14-0 with just under nine minutes left in the opening quarter.
After rushing touchdowns from Dylan Hahn and Locke Byers, the Owls took a 27-0 lead going into halftime.
Garden Plain picked up right where they left off, as Matt Pauly returned a kick for a touchdown to open the second half. After forcing a punt, Garden Plain’s John Nowak ran for a 13 yard touchdown to move the score to 42-0 with just under nine minutes in the third quarter.
After a Garden Plain field goal, the Bulldogs finally found their stride. Douglass drove 75 yards down the field, and finally got on the scoreboard after a Zach Dressler rushing touchdown with three minutes left in the game.
Douglass senior quarterback Kaden Pichler completed nine passes on 20 attempts for 92 yards.
Senior Zach Dressler put up impressive rushing totals all season to help propel the Bulldogs to their historic season. After 72 yards on Friday, Dressler finished with 1,695 yards on the season to go along with 25 touchdowns. After eight weeks of regular-season football, Dressler led the entire state (11-man) in rushing yards with 1,623.
Douglass finishes the season with a record of 7-2, making 2018 the best season for the Bulldogs since 1996, when they also finished 7-2.
With an opening-round victory, Garden Plain improves to 6-3 and will advance to take on Hutchinson-Trinity Catholic (8-1) next Friday. The Owls fell to Trinity by a score of 20-7 in week five.