Independence struggles in loss to El Dorado

EL DORADO — In its final appearance before the start of district play, the Independence Bulldogs struggled from start to finish in a 55-6 road loss to El Dorado Friday night at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 2-4 overall on the season. They next prepare for the start of Class 4A-Division I-District 4 action this Friday as they travel to Southeast Kansas League foe Labette County. IHS is the defending District 4 champion.

Independence lost Friday’s contest despite leading 6-0 early in the second quarter following a 30-yard interception return by Josh Pralle. Yet, the Bulldogs could get nothing going offensively the entire contest while surrendering the game’s final 55 points over a span of 28 game minutes.

El Dorado (3-3) took the lead on a one-yard touchdown run by Kyle Bobbitt, who followed a few minutes later with a two-yard dive into the end zone for a 14-6 lead. Just before halftime, the Wildcats scored yet again on a 23-yard pass play to bump the advantage up to 21-6 heading into the intermission.

Things continued to go downhill for the Bulldogs in the second half. The host team struck for 27 points in the third period to push its lead up to 48-6 and then tacked on one more score in the fourth period on a 29-yard TD run by Bobbitt — his fourth touchdown of the game.

Independence finished the game with 147 total yards of offense. Meanwhile, El Dorado recorded 396 yards, including 236 on the ground and 160 through the air on 8-of-11 passing from quarterback Cody Wittenberg, who tossed for two touchdowns.

It was a much different outcome than last year’s meeting when the Bulldogs captured a 34-6 victory over the Wildcats at Independence’s Emmot Field. In that contest, the teams combined for 14 turnovers.