RUSK – The Iola Bulldogs clipped the wings of the Maud Cardinals with a 44-14 win at Rusk Stadium Sept. 21.
Iola (4-1) started the game off strong with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Elliot to Landon Betancourt. Chris Arzola connected on the point-after for a 7-0 lead.
Iola’s defense forced a turnover to set up the offense for another touchdown. Elliot connected on passes to Blake Bennet for a 20-yard gain and Kage Lee for a 10-yard gain. The scoring connection was a pass to Adrian Garrett with 4:50 remaining in the half. The kick failed.
The Cardinals took flight ready to fight. Quarterback Josh Luther pitched the ball to Cade Townsend for a 66-yard touchdown to narrow the deficit 13-6, with 3:15 left in the first half.
Recharged, Iola returned from halftime ready to put the game away. Garrett rushed for 40 yards on the drive that was capped by an 11-yard quarterback keeper by Elliot with a pack of Bulldogs pushing him across the goal line. They convert for two increasing the lead, 21-6, with 9 minutes remaining in the third.
Maud closed the gap with a 75-yard rushing touchdown by Cade Townsend. Following a successful conversion, the lead was 21-14.
Garrett rushed for 65-yards setting himself up for a 10-yard rushing touchdown. He added the conversion to extend the Bulldog lead, 29-14, to begin the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs added two more touchdowns to the board in the fourth. An interception by Cooper Cadro set up Garrett for another rushing touchdown. Elliott ran in the conversion. Elliot scored again on a quarterback keeper to finalize the score 44-14.
Garrett led the Bulldogs with 171 yards rushing on 18 carries with three touchdowns and two conversions. Iola rushed for 271 total yards on 39 carries and five touchdowns. Elliott passed for 152 yards completing 14-of-16 of his passes and a touchdown. He also rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown.
“I was very proud Cooper got both interceptions,” said Iola Head Coach Rex Sharp. “We have worked on proper drops for ball off-line purposes. He read the pass immediately and dropped to his zone. It will build confidence in the future. We constantly talk about the ‘process and culture’ change in our football program. We say ‘WIN’ on every breakout moment. It is TEAM in everything we do.”
The Bulldogs (4-1) take a break this week to prepare themselves for the first district game at Granger (4-1) Friday, Oct. 6.