WHEATLAND – With six minutes left in the game at Newcastle (3-6) Friday night and the Dogies in possession on their own 35 yard-line with a 10-point lead, it was looking like the first playoff game for the Bulldogs would be a six-hour road trip to Big Piney.
After Newcastle fumbled on that possession and the Bulldogs recovered, there was a glimmer of hope for a victory and a home playoff game with Big Piney taking the long bus ride. The Bulldogs’ favorite passing combination of Kade Preuit to Jake Hicks didn’t take long to strike for a 34 yard pass play that was a precursor for a 15-yard touchdown scramble by Preuit.
The Bulldogs scored twice in those final six minutes and held on to a 40-38 lead, but the Dogies were not done as they took the ball down deep into Bulldog territory and Newcastle’s field goal kicker had only missed one field goal all year.
They would have a chance for the win if they could convert a 29-yard field goal, but the snap was low, the kick was no good and the Bulldogs will be hosting Big Piney at 7 p.m. Friday night.
Kade Preuit had his best passing game of the year passing for 284 yards throwing two touchdown passes to Hicks, a pair of 60-yard touchdown passes to Rodee Brow and running in what would be the winning score with just over two-minutes left in the game.
Brow, with an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown tallied three touchdowns for the night, Hicks had two and Preuit had one.
Aric Suko gained 56 yards on the ground while Preuit had 54. The Bulldogs amassed 407 yards of total offense while Newcastle accounted for 430 yards.
“It was a game you would expect to see with as much playoff chaos that came with it,” said Bulldog head coach Cody Bohlander. “Newcastle definitely showed they wanted to make the playoffs and really played well, probably the best game they have played all season. Hats off to their players and coaches for the game they put together. We had some defensive flaws in not staying FIT in our run game and losing guys in coverage. Errors that should never happen with as much as we rep these guys against seeing Newcastle’s offense.
“Our offense showed up big for us that night and played well. Kade put together a great game, behind our line that gave him the time he needed to get the ball to our receivers who caught the ball when we needed them to. We are looking forward to the first round of playoffs being on our home field, and are going to use the momentum of a close game like we just had to keep us motivated and focused.”
In the 2A first round of playoffs (2E) Wheatland will host (3W) Big Piney, (1W) Lyman will host(4E) Big Horn, (2W) Lovell will host (3E) Upton-Sundance and (1E) Torrington will host (4W) Cokeville.