Bridgeport snaps three-game skid

BROOKSIDE – Back to basics.

Bridgeport did just that in unleashing a punishing ground game Friday night en route to a 42-16 victory over Conotton Valley Friday night at Perkins Field.

“That was a much-needed win,” Bridgeport head coach Rudy Vavrock said after his team snapped a three-game losing skid. “Hopefully, we can build off that.

“We were able to establish a good running game which allowed us to hit some play-action passes and have pretty good balance,” he added.

The Bulldogs pounded the rock 31 times for 373 yards and six touchdowns.

“I thought our offensive line really did a nice job tonight,” Vavrock explained. “We challenged them to play better and they fired off the ball much better.”

The line consists of senior Bailey Sieber, senior Brad Tomolonis, junior Jared Heslop, junior Chance Watson and senior Brandon Brown.

Junior quarterback Bailey McGrath ran the offense to near perfection with nine carries for 133 yards and three scores. He also completed 7-of-8 passes for 144 yards with one interception.

“I thought Bailey McGrath really ran the offense well,” Vavrock said. “He made a lot of great decisions and was a big reason we were able to show some balance on offense.”

A trio of juniors also got into the act on the ground with Patrick Britton (95 yards and two touchdowns), Bradley Pritchett (86 yards) and Jacob Ray (58 yards and a touchdown) turning in big nights. Britton also caught four passes for 59 yards.

“We were able to spread the ball around and that kept Conotton Valley off balance,” Vavrock explained. “We need to keep that kind of balance going forward.”

Following a Conotton Valley punt, Bridgeport needed just two plays to dent the scoring column as Britton broke free up the gut en route to a 60-yard scoring jaunt. Colt Charlton turned a low snap into a two-point run making it 8-0 with 8:56 showing in the first quarter.

After another Rocket punt, Bridgeport put together a 62-yard drive culminating in a one-yard McGrath plunge. Ray had the key play on the drive with a 22-yard run. Ben Behnke kicked the PAT to make it 15-0 with 3:05 showing in the first quarter.

Conotton got on the scoreboard by converting three third downs to keep alive a 73-yard drive that ended with a Jacob Hoover 5-yard run. A two-point run cut the lead to 15-8 with 9:59 showing in the second.

Bridgeport answered quickly. McGrath broke free on the second play of the drive for a 51-yard run. The extra point failed and the Bulldogs led 21-8 with 9:18 left in the half.

Bridgeport took the second half kickoff and drove 71 yards with McGrath covering the final 24 yards for the TD.

Behnke’s point after made it 28-8 with 8:39 showing in the third quarter.

Ray scored his touchdown on Bridgeport’s next drive with a 15-yard jaunt.

The PAT was wide and Bridgeport led 34-8 with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

Britton closed the scoring for the Bulldogs with a 23-yard burst. Behnke picked up a bad snap and ran in the two-point conversion to extend the edge to 42-8 with 7:18 showing.

Conotton Valley closed the scoring with a 10-yard run by junior Kenny Fiester. Hoover added the two-point run to make it 42-16.

Bridgeport got nice defensive efforts from Britton, Heslop, Watson, Tomolonis and Carlos Kusic.

The Bulldogs, now 2-3, will travel to Madonna next week.

“We are going to have to have a great week of preparation,” Vavrock explained. “Madonna is an excellent ball club.”

At halftime, Cheyanne Flowers picked the lucky rose and was announced as Homecoming Queen.