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HEBRON ESTATES - Looking at the final statistics, the North Bullitt Eagles had enough yards and played well enough on the defensive side to win Friday night’s encounter against the Doss Dragons.
However, three big plays haunted the host Eagles on this Halloween encounter with their former district foes.
As a result, the Eagle fans went home 20-7 losers.
“Doss is a talented team,” said head coach Brett Newton. “They’re probably the quickest team we’ve seen. It’s hard to face such a quick line.”
For the entire evening, North Bullitt flirted with scoring but reaching the end zone was hampered by a play here and a play there.
On its opening drive, North Bullitt drove to the Dragon 37 before halfback Dalton Cissell’s pass was intercepted.
Doss quarterback Demitric Unseld hit Rayshaw Colbert on a 51-yard bomb on the next play.
With the ball at the Eagle 2, Jaquan Persley scored his first touchdown on the night. Chase White kicked the extra point for the 7-0 lead.
The Eagles came right back and drove the ball to the Dragon 8. However, quarterback Jordan Mayberry was sacked. The drive stalled at the 18 and C.J. Parker’s 35-yard field goal attempt was wide left on the first play of the second quarter.
With 5:26 left in the first half, Unseld hit Maalik Dalton on a 70-yard touchdown pass. White’s extra point made it 14-0.
The Eagles averted further damage when Ryan Tarter intercepted an Unseld pass at the 12-yard line with four seconds left in the half.
Down 14-0, Newton said he wasn’t overly concerned at halftime. A few adjustments were made and he felt North Bullitt was still in the game.
Well, Persley changed that by taking the kickoff and racing 76 yards for a touchdown.
North Bullitt would drive to the Dragon 27 and 13 on consecutive drives but could not convert on fourth down.
The Eagles got a break when a bad snap to the Doss punter allowed the home team to take possession at the 36.
On the ninth play of the 36-yard drive, Cissell scored from the 3-yard line with 5:56 left to play. Parker converted the extra point.
That would be as close as North Bullitt would come to scoring.
“We fell asleep on a couple of plays and we’re not good enough to do that,” said Newton. “We did some really good things tonight but you can’t turn the ball over and give up big plays.”
With the exception of the big plays, Newton said he couldn’t complain about the defensive effort. Doss had only 62 yards on 22 attempts, compared to 156 on 49 attempts for the Eagles.
Through the air, Doss had 169 yards but most of those came on the two big throws.
“We need to keep positive,” said Newton, whose team is now 5-4 and the second seed in the playoffs. “We’re almost there. We just need to get there.”
For a second straight game, Cissell, one of the all-time leading rushers in Kentucky, gained less than 100 yards.
Newton said he wasn’t concerned. With Mayberry still hurting from an earlier shoulder injury, Cissell has been called on to play the quarterback position.
“We’ll be OK,” said Newton. “We still have a good football team.”
NEXT GAME - North Bullitt will close out the regular season with a trip to South Oldham in a non-district battle at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.