Bullard Staves Off Late Canton Rally In District Finale + Eliminates Eagles From Postseason
[Josh Whatley, Special to ETSN.fm]
BULLARD -- The last time the Bullard and Canton met in district play, they were both fighting for a playoff spot. Canton prevailed back in 2007.
History failed to repeat itself on Friday night at Panther Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Eagles, 35-21, to finish the regular season with the second seed in District 5-4A Division II.
Both defenses started strong, forcing punts on the first two possessions of the game. But quick kicks by senior signal caller Connor Mebane forced the Eagles to start from inside their own one yard line twice.
The Bullard defense took full advantage of the Eagles' bad field position, opening scoring with a Canton fumble linebacker Taylor Rives jumped on in the end zone.
Bullard (7-3, 3-2) didn’t let up there. Mebane found receiver Drake Daly for a 55-yard strike and Chris Bradford found the end zone untouched from 17 yards out to give the Panthers a 21-0 lead.
Daly finished the game with six catches for 117 yards.
The Panthers defense forced another turnover by Canton, an interception by Jarred Alsobrook. It set up a Mebane touchdown run which gave Bullard a comfortable 28-0 lead at halftime.
A personal foul called on Canton (5-5, 1-4) to end the first half allowed Bullard to gain favorable field position on their first possession of the third quarter. The drive was capped off by another Mebane run, this time from 16 yards outs to give Bullard a 35-0 lead.
Mebane finished with 82 yards on the ground and 129 yards through the air.
Sophomore quarterback Hunter Moore and the Canton offense began to show some life in the second half with a touchdown pass to Garret Denbow from three yards out to cut the Eagles' deficit to 35-7.
Canto gained momentum late in the fourth with two scores other scores by Moore, but the surge was too late.
Bullard moves on to the playoffs and will face Tatum in a bi-district match up next week.