Pleasant Grove hands Bulldogs first loss

By: Matt Long
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For the first time this season, Folsom High's varsity football team has tasted defeat. With the Bulldogs (3-1, 8-1) in position to all but clinch their first Delta River League title, they lost to Pleasant Grove, 35-33, while playing in front of a large home crowd at Prairie City Stadium in the biggest game of the year to date. The Bulldogs trailed for most of the game and had two chances to take a lead in the fourth quarter, but turned the ball over both times and the Eagles (4-0, 7-2) held on for the win. "The effort was there," Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. "They punched us in the mouth, finding a weakness by running in between the tackles, but we had our opportunities and didn't capitalize on them. We made some mistakes and sometimes teams make you pay for them." Trailing 35-27 midway through the third quarter, Folsom finished off an 80-yard drive with a 32-yard touchdown pass from David Graves to Brandon Babineaux on third-and-23, which sent the hometown crowd into a frenzy and clearly gave Folsom the momentum, but the ensuing 2-point conversion which would have tied the game was no good. Dano Graves took a pitch from his brother and had Babineaux all alone in the end zone, but Pleasant Grove's cornerback Jalen Saunders batted down the pass to preserve the narrow lead, which in the end turned out to be the final score, 35-33. Folsom trailed by two points because of a missed extra-point early in the third quarter, which proved to be big. While the fourth quarter didn't feature any points, it was filled with intense action. Pleasant Grove drove the ball to Folsom's 29-yard line on the next possession, but on fourth-and-12 from Folsom's 34, James Goldsmith and Justin Peterson dropped Saunders for a four-yard loss and gave the offense a chance to take the lead with 9:13 to play. Folsom quickly moved the ball down to the Pleasant Grove 27-yard line on three plays, but Graves was pressured heavily on the fourth play of the drive and overthrew Tyler Trosin and the pass was picked off by Obadiah Johnson. Once again the Eagles drove the ball down the field, just as they had all game long, by pounding the ball between the tackles, making it to the five-yard line before Folsom's defense stiffened. On third-and-goal from the five, lineman Sam Gray broke through and dropped Michael Madkins for a three-yard loss. On fourth down, Saunders' pass fell incomplete and Folsom took over on the eight-yard line with three minutes to play. Again Folsom made quick work of moving the ball. However, on the fourth play of the drive from Pleasant Grove's 41-yard line, Graves lobbed a pass to Babineaux, which tipped off his hands and was intercepted by Kenny Taylor. The Folsom faithful felt the ball hit the ground, as Taylor made a diving attempt to catch the ball, but the referees signaled first down for Pleasant Grove. "I felt the ball hit the ground, but that's not my call," Richardson said. With 2:18 to play and Folsom out of timeouts, Pleasant Grove ran out the clock and held on for the win. Folsom trailed 14-0 in the first quarter, but answered with a pair of touchdown runs by Graves to tie the game. Pleasant Grove came right back with two more scores, before Folsom cut the lead to 28-21 at the break on an 80-yard touchdown pass from Graves to Babineaux. Folsom opened the second half with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Graves to Trosin, but Zach Cameron's extra point was wide left. Folsom still has a chance at a league title, but needs Jesuit to upset the Eagles on the road next week, while Folsom needs to take care of Sheldon at Prairie City Stadium. JV wins big Folsom's junior varsity team won its third consecutive game to improve to 6-3 on the season. "It was our best game all season," Folsom coach Matt Navone said. "Everything went right for us. In fact we even kicked a 38-yard field goal." Kyle Moeller scored two rushing touchdowns, threw another to Mac Carlsen and caught a touchdown pass from Troy Watson. Trevor Jones, Christian Salicon and Isaac Cho also had touchdown runs, while Dillon Wessing booted the field goal. Joe Gray also added a 2-point conversion. Defensively, Marcus Hendricks and Watson had interceptions, while Carlsen recovered a fumble. Sam Lueken led the way with seven tackles, while Gray added six. Folsom faces undefeated Sheldon next week in the season finale. A win will give the Bulldogs a share of the league title.