Between the years of 2004 and 2010 the (Garnett)-Anderson County Bulldogs were a winning team in the old-fashioned, (sixty-four) 64-teamed class, where teams had to (bizarrely) fight their way through five rounds of playoffs in order to find themselves holding a state championship title at the end. (Unfortunately, teams still have to pound their way through this vicious task in the 3A class, pending new rule changes possibly coming in the years to come). The Bulldogs of AC, in those seven (7) seasons, came across five (5) winning seasons, and a district championship. The last of the three mentioned was very tough to come by, as they were placed in a tougher district that season in one of the more competitive years of 4A ball. Anderson County downed foes: Lousiburg 20-7, Osawatomie 64-48, and (LaCygne)-Prairie View 41-16. The only opponent that didn’t have a strong record in the district was Prairie View that season. Osawatomie came in with only one (1) loss and Louisburg went on to make a run in the playoffs. Since those days the Bulldogs (AC) now had no winning seasons since the turn of the decade in 2011, they would however have one (1) if you count their 6-4 playoff season in 2010. They’ve only made the playoffs two (2) times (going .500 in both seasons), one of those times was under new, outside hire’s oversee: Mr. Greg Welch, in his second season as head coach. Welch’s overall record at Anderson County is 9-23, that is: until tonight…
Friday, September 29, 2017, Riverside park: Independence, Kansas, America. Two teams. Both come into a Friday night lights game with much to prove in a non-conference game. But make no mistake, these teams are no strangers. However, they’ve only met once in recent years, but don’t think that that means the Bulldogs forgot about the 38-9 bruise left on them from a year ago. Tonight things are a bit different: Indy comes in with three (3) losses instead of one (1), just like the Bulldogs of Anderson County. Which “Dawg Pound” Prevailed on Friday night? Well let us look back, recap and find out who took home the bacon in this dog fight.
During while the air filled with the smell of popcorn, hot dogs, (and that distinct smell you can’t ever make out when you’re at riverside….. (maybe that old zoo?) ] the teams met and center field for the coin toss ready to play.
The Bulldogs would strike first blood. Number twenty-four (# 24) Sophomore tailback Amauryon Farley scored first for Independence. The score was then to 8-0 as they were good on the (2) two-point conversion as well. It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs (IHS) to repeat their fate. Later on in the quarter, Junior quarterback Josh Pralle found wide receiver Zaedrick Daniels (who seemed to emerge as quite the asset this week against Anderson County). Then, the score was standing at 14-0 where it would stay until the next quarter.
The middle two (2) periods are where things really took off. In the second quarter, the first score came on a punt return by Daniels, one which he took all the to the house. Once again again the score, Indy came up short on the point after and lead by a three touchdown score of 20-0. Sophomore back, Jaden McGrath, got in on the action again this week with a score of his own, as he seems to be proving be a potential long-term rushing option for the Bulldogs as well. After the McGrath score the Bulldogs (of Indy) went for two (2) and were unsuccessful once more, but they now led 26-0 with just under three minutes (3:00) left in the half. That score would hold until the halftime break.
Pralle added a score in the third and another was put up on the board in the third period as Indy began to pull away. With: their home crowd cheering them on, their all-state caliber band playing the entire game, cheerleaders keeping the student section up and wild, this homecoming game seemed to be well under control. It seemed like the fans, players and coaches of this home squad of the The Independence Bulldogs would head home happy. The end of third (3rd) ended in a deficit of forty points for the other Bulldog squad to overcome, that being Anderson County.
Although, the game entered its final stretch with (almost) no hope for the visiting team, as well as no point, it would not end in a shut out for the home team. Indy would go onto to give up some points on the defensive side in the closing minutes as both teams would trade a couple scores late, in fact two (2) scores each. The final from Riverside Park stood at Independence 56 (Garnett)-Anderson County 14.
Both did come in with something to prove; both teams did come in with same record. However, we did not exactly get the showdown that we were hoping for as Coach Carl Boldra showed what his squad can do now. He’ll have to continue to do so as his team will travel to face a team that also plays in a tough conference. Indy will make the long road trip to play El Dorado (2-3). The Wildcats of El Dorado play in a Wichita-Area-Type city league dubbed the AVCT. The AVCT is the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail league (or conference), which is divided into four divisions: I, II, III and IV, based on how big the schools are all-around (meaning all sports, not just football), I being the biggest and IV the smallest division. El Dorado competes in the AVCT-IV (division four). (Indy is now 2-3).
Anderson County (now 1-4) will face a tough battle this week. They will have to go on the road for the fourth time already this season, and this time it will be to play Wellsville (4-1), whose only loss game on their season opener.