IOLA—Bartlett and Iola faced off Friday night in a battle of the Bulldogs. Iola came out on top, winning the game 52-42 and taking advantage of their final opportunity to grasp a seat in the playoffs.
“It was a great team win,” said senior Adam Crenshaw, “We finally put four quarters of work together and with that effort we accomplished whatever we wanted to on offense; we looked good.”
Bartlett struck first with a 1-yard run and a failed two-point conversion putting the score 6-0. Fired up for senior night and their final game on the home field, Iola quickly matched Bartlett’s score with a 1-yard run executed by running back, Crenshaw who rushed for 130 yards and contributed half of Iola’s scores for the night. The two-point conversion was successfully completed by senior Kurtis Landry. Shortly thereafter, junior lineman Spencer Quinlan ran a 47-yard pick six into the end zone. The two-point conversion was successfully completed by senior, Blake Driver bringing the score 16-6 Iola in the lead.
In the second quarter, Bartlett threatened to close the gap, but Iola held their ground. Starting off the quarter, Iola furthered their lead with a 27-yard run for a touchdown by junior Case Creamer. Creamer finished the night with 88 rushing yards. Bartlett retaliated with two touchdowns paired with one successful two-point conversion good for 14 points. Threatened by Bartlett’s increasing momentum, Iola responded with yet another touchdown. Crenshaw ran the ball 9 yards for 6 points and Driver topped it off with a two-point conversion, concluding the half 30-20.
Iola’s head coach, Kerry Bamburg stated, “We need to build on what we did tonight. The success we had offensively we need to continue, and defensively we need to clean some things up. With these improvements, we could play an even better game next week.”
Coming out after halftime, Bartlett attempted to make their move on offense with a 30-yard touchdown and a successful two-point conversion, but Iola did not allow them to keep their momentum. Crenshaw went off for his third touchdown of the night with a 40-yard run paired with a successful two-point conversion completed by Creamer. Driver also contributed to Iola’s lead with a 42-yard run. The two-point conversion was no good ending the quarter 44-28 Iola in the lead.
“It’s really exciting to go to the playoffs,” senior linemen, Tyler Westbrook remarks. “I think a lot of people in the community and maybe even some people on the team didn’t think we were going to get there, so it is very exciting to have a new start.”
In Bartlett’s final effort to close the gap between them and Iola, Bartlett scored two touchdowns compared to Iola’s single 37-yard score by senior Colton Boullion, but it was too late. The fourth quarter ended 52-42, Iola clenching their spot in the playoffs.
Iola faces Flatonia in Taylor Friday, Nov. 15, at 7:30p.m. Bartlett’s concludes a winless season finishing 0-10.