It was a historic night for the Bridgeport Bulls. They clinched their sixth straight trip to the postseason and in the process Gabe Huerta became the all-time leading rusher in Bridgeport history, taking down Colin Jones’ record of 4,122 yards.The Bulls (4-5, 2-1) held on for a 47-24 win over the Sanger Indians (0-9, 0-3).
Huerta went into the game only needing 21 yards to break Jones’ record and he picked it up early in the first quarter. He ended the night with 131 yards rushing.
“I was aware when I heard the fans, that I had broke it,” Huerta said. “Then I went back to work just making sure I finished the game well. It means a lot because so many great running backs, have come through here and I am glad to be part of that group.”
In 20 years, head coach Danny Henson has seen a lot of those great backs and he was happy for his senior.
“That is a great record not only for Gabe but for four years’ worth of offensive linemen and receivers that blocked for him,” Henson said. “It’s a record that everybody can celebrate with. That’s a tough record to get and who knows how long it will take for somebody to break it.”
Huerta’s effort, along with another great night from Hunter Gantt, secured the Bulls’ spot in the postseason. A win against Gainesville next week would give the Bulls a share of the district title.
“It’s what we work for starting way back in the offseason,” Henson said about clinching a playoff spot. “It’s a great accomplishment and we are extremely happy with it.”
Bridgeport had to fight from behind early against the winless Indians. Sanger jumped out to an early 7-0 lead before two Gantt rushing touchdowns put the Bulls back in front, 13-7.
Sanger closed the gap to within 13-10 but Bridgeport responded with three straight Huerta touchdowns. The first came on a two-yard run, and the next on a 10-yard scamper. After a successful onside kick, he scored one play later on a 40-yard screen pass, to extend the Bull lead to 33-10.
Sanger started clawing back in the third quarter with two more touchdowns sandwiched around Huerta’s fourth score of the night. It was 40-24 heading to the fourth quarter.
“Defensively we didn’t play as sharp as we did last week,” Henson said. “We’ve got to have a good week of work. Now we get a chance to play for a district championship and that is pretty exciting.”
The Bull defense stepped up when it had to down the stretch forcing a fumble and keeping the Indians out of the end zone.
Gantt put the game away on a 31-yard touchdown run with just over three minutes left. It was his third score of the night.BRIDGEPORT 47, SANGER 24
Bridgeport … 20 … 13 … 7 … 7 … 47
Sanger … 10 … 0 … 14 … 0 … 24
Sanger – Derek Shelby 7 run; Johnson kick
Bridgeport – Hunter Gantt 2 run; kick failed
Bridgeport – Gantt 9 run; Rivera kick
Sanger – Johnson 21 field goal
Bridgeport – Gabe Huerta 2 run; Rivera kick
Bridgeport – Huerta 10 run; kick failed
Bridgeport – Huerta 40 pass from Trey Cook; Rivera kick
Sanger- Devin Teeters 54 pass from Brandon Mann; Johnson kick
Bridgeport – Huerta 8 run; Rivera kick
Sanger – Shelby 12 run; Johnson kick
Bridgeport – Gantt 31 run; Rivera kick
BRIDGEPORT … SANGER
First Downs … 17 … 19
Rushes yards … 47-230 … 34-186
Passing yards … 194 … 223
Total yards … 424 … 409
Comp-Att-Int … 7-13-0 … 15-31-0
Fumbles-lost … 1-0 … 3-3
Penalties … 3-18 … 5-39
Rushing: Bridgeport, Gabe Huerta 28-131, Hunter Gantt, 16-89; Sanger, Derek Shelby 15-96, Brandon Mann 12-84
Passing: Bridgeport, Trey Cook, 5-9-160 ; Sanger, Brandon Mann, 15-31-223
Receiving: Bridgeport, Blake Arrington, 3-74; Sanger, Devin Teeters, 5-101