With their backs against the wall and trying to save their season Friday night, the Bridgeport Bulls laid it all on the line. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough.
Bridgeport watched a 16-point lead vanish in the final 18 minutes as they dropped their ninth straight game of the season.
Sanger (6-3, 2-1) upended the Bulls (0-9, 0-3) 45-37.
The loss will end the Bulls’ six-year string of consecutive playoff appearances.
The bad bounces, the costly turnovers and the overall bad luck that has been following Bridgeport all season, left them alone for the first two-and-a-half quarters.
Hunter Gantt, who ended the night with three touchdowns, put the Bulls up 37-21 midway through the third quarter. Gantt put the Bulls on his shoulders, and almost carried them to victory. He ended the night with 142 receiving yards and had two rushing touchdowns.
The Bulls could do no wrong, until Sanger’s Trevon Jackson decided to take over. It only took the junior running back two plays to go 54-yards and get the Indians right back in the game.
Sanger went on to score 31 unanswered points, to eventually pull away for the victory.
Later in the third quarter Sanger’s Wyatt Broxson crossed the goal line get the Indians to within 37-28.
After another Bull punt the Indians drove down to take the lead for good on a 36-yard field goal from Dakota Branch.
Bridgeport got a glimmer of hope midway through the fourth, when Jacob Roberts came up with an interception to set Bridgeport up at midfield. The Bulls drove the ball inside the Indian 40-yard line before they coughed it up on another fumble.
Sanger took advantage four plays later when Jackson scored again from 40-yards out to give Sanger the deciding margin.
Bridgeport opened the game on fire. They scored on their first two possessions. Hunter Gantt opened the scoring on a three yard run after two long pass plays to start the game.
Trey Cook found Jaz Hickson on the next possession, as Hickson kept his concentration on a tipped ball in the end zone. Cook ended the night with a season high 350 passing yards.
Sanger rallied back to tie the game 14-14, but Cook and Gantt came right back. The two hooked up on a 17-yard catch and run to put the Bulls back into the lead.
A couple of minutes before the half, facing fourth and long from the Indian 43, the Bulls rolled the dice and hit Bryan Hutchison on a fly pattern to extend their lead to 27-14.
Sanger had enough time to respond, marching right down the field and scoring on a 30-yard Wyatt Broxson run.
Chris Hernandez ended the half for the Bulls with a 36-yard field goal to give them a 30-21 lead.
Bridgeport will wrap up their season next week when they travel to Gainesville.
SANGER 45, BRIDGEPORT 37
Sanger … 7 … 14 … 14 … 10 … – … 45
Bridgeport … 14 … 16 … 7 … 0 … – … 37
B – Hunter Gantt 3 run; Chris Hernandez kick
B – Trey Cook 15 pass to Jaz Hickman; Hernandez kick
S – Wyatt Broxson 11 run; Branch kick
S – Broxson 9 pass to Baley Garza; Branch kick
B – Cook 17 pass to Gantt; kick failed
B – Cook 43 pass to Bryan Hutchison; Hernandez kick
S – Broxson 30 run; Branch kick
B – Hernandez 33 field goal
B – Gantt 9 run; Hernandez kick
S – Trevon Jackson 16 run; Branch kick
S – Broxson 14 run; Branch kick
S – Branch 36 field goal
S – Jackson 40 run; Branch kick
SANGER … BRIDGEPORT
First Downs … 25 … 20
Rushes-Yards … 62-406 … 21-46
Passing Yards … 74 … 350
Total Yards … 480 … 396
Comp-Att-Int … 8-17-1 … 26-40-0
Fumbles lost … 1-1 … 3-2
Penalties … 8-78 … 9-63
Rushing – Bridgeport, Bryan Hutchison 1-35; Sanger, Trevon Jackson 33-249
Receiving – Bridgeport, Hunter Gantt, 13-142; Sanger, Kyle Link 1-26.
Passing – Bridgeport, Trey Cook 26-40-350; Sanger, Wyatt Broxson 8-17-74