For three quarters Friday the Bridgeport Bulls had a victory within their grasp. The final 12 minutes proved to be their demise.
Alvarado (1-0) pulled away for the 42-30 win over Bridgeport (0-1) on the new field turf at Bull Memorial Stadium.
“I felt good about how we played the first half after such a bad start,” Bridgeport head coach Danny Henson said. “We made a lot of mistakes, but then we corrected that and played a good second half of the first half. After halftime we were the team that started making the most mistakes.”
After a seven-yard touchdown run by running back Chase Collins in the third quarter cut the Indian lead to 27-21, things were looking good for the Bulls.
Alvarado faced a third and seven to begin the fourth quarter at the Bull 48-yard line. Instead of getting a stop, Alvarado’s Adrian Hendrick scored his fourth of five touchdowns on the night.
The two-point conversion gave Alvarado a 35-21 lead.
Bridgeport’s ensuing drive started at their own 16 yard line. After three plays the Bulls faced a fourth and long from their own 14. Henson felt he needed to roll the dice.
Trey Cook’s pass fell incomplete.
“What I didn’t want to do at that point was punt it to them and have them run enough time off the clock where we wouldn’t have a chance,” Henson said. “I was hoping we could get the first down or get a penalty to extend the drive. I wanted our kids to know we were still trying to win the game.”
Alvarado immediately took advantage, as Hendrick scored one play later to put the game away.
Hendrick was a thorn in the Bulls’ side all night. He scored on the first play from scrimmage on a 68-yard run, and finished the night with 358 yards rushing on 37 carries.
The Indians went up 14-0 before Bridgeport finally settled down.
The Bulls missed easy catches early and the run game was dismal all night. Bridgeport ended the night with six rushing yards and Collins left the field on crutches when the game was over.
“We think it’s just a little sprain or something, but we’ll have to check it tomorrow,” Henson said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious.”
The Bulls forced two turnovers deep in Indian territory late in the first quarter. After coming up empty after the first fumble, Cook took advantage when the defense came up big again.
He found Raby Hawkins for a 28-yard touchdown reception to get the Bulls on the board.
“I like the turnovers we got and we came up with some critical stops,” Henson said about his defense. “Some of the touchdowns they [Alvarado] got our defense did a good job, but we had little breakdowns here and there.”
After another Hendrick touchdown midway through the second quarter, Alvarado took a 21-7 lead.
Bridgeport would answer one more time before the half, when Hawkins hauled in his second touchdown pass of the night, cutting the Indian lead to 21-14 at the half.
ALVARADO 42, BRIDGEPORT 30
Alvarado … 14 … 7 … 6 … … 15 … – … 42
Bridgeport … 7 … 7 … 7 … … 9 … – … 30
Alvarado – Adrian Hendrick 63 run; Gabriel Favela kick
Alvarado – Adam Everitt 1 run; Favela kick
Bridgeport – Trey Cook 28 pass to Raby Hawkins; Michael Rivera kick
Alvarado – Hendrick 1 run; Favela kick
Bridgeport – Cook 38 pass to Hawkins; Rivera kick
Alvarado – Hendrick 65 run; kick failed
Bridgeport – Chase Collins 4 run; Rivera kick
Alvarado – Hendrick 48 run; Everitt pass to Gabriel Morris
Alvarado – Hendrick 14 run; Favela kick
Bridgeport – safety
Bridgeport – Hunter Gantt 1 run; Rivera kick
ALVARADO … BRIDGEPORT
First Downs … 14 … 7
Rushes Yards … 368 … 6
Passing Yards … 16 … 133
Total Yards … 384 … 139
Comp-Att-Int … 2-8-1 … 12-31-0
Fumbles lost … 5-2 … 2-2
Penalties … 9-80 … 8-70
Rushing – Alvarado, Hendrick 37-358; Bridgeport, Chase Collins 7-27.
Receiving – Alvarado, Dylan Lemons 1-11. Bridgeport Raby Hawkins, 6-93.
Passing – Alvarado, Adam Everitt 2-8-16. Bridgeport, Trey Cook, 12-31-133.