Maddux pass lifts Bridgeport over Bowie

By Austin Jackson | Published Friday, September 7, 2018.
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After having everything go wrong and clawing all the way back, Bridgeport had one shot to make everything right.

Down 35-31, facing fourth and goal from the 14-yard line with just seconds of life left on the clock, Bridgeport quarterback Jadon Maddux rolled out, buying time before heaving the ball to the right corner of the end zone.

The ball hung in the air for what seemed like an eternity before dropping into a mass of players by the far pylon.

Beneath the scrum of Bowie and Bridgeport maroon and white, Bridgeport receiver Nolan Hernandez reeled in the catch, dragging his feet in the end zone.

Bridgeport trailed for 46 minutes. With 27 seconds left, the Bulls took their first and final lead, with the defense eventually sealing the 38-35 victory over the Bowie Jackrabbits at Bull Memorial Stadium Friday night.

“We fought back. It was penalty after penalty, mistake after mistake, but on the last play, it was just throw the ball to an athlete and he made the play,” Maddux said.

The beautiful finish of Bridgeport’s 63-yard touchdown drive started ugly,
The Bulls racked up two block in the back penalties and a chop block to put them in third and 32.

The Bulls had already clawed out of a 15-0 deficit to start the game. Down the stretch, Bridgeport did what they had to do to move the ball and get the win.
Maddux connected with Christian Hand on a 22-yard screen pass that set up the Bulls at the Bowie 5-yard line. After taking a sack that dropped them to the 14, Maddux’ pass on third down fell incomplete.

Then came the play that finished the trajectory-shifting win for Bridgeport, who suffered a grueling 35-7 loss to Pilot Point last week.

Bridgeport coach Shannon Wilson said his team showed character, not letting early adversity affect their play.
A botched snap on a punt gave Bowie the ball on the 3 and the Jackrabbits scored. After another three and out. Bowie was up 15-0 within a minute and 30 seconds.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve had a lot of games come down to the wire, coming from behind,” Wilson said. “We didn’t give up. I didn’t think we would.”

Maddux rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. He completed 12 of his 19 passes, racking up 133 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Christian Hand also had a big bounceback game, rushing for 103 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns.

But the most stark change that led to he win was defensive adjustments in the second half.

After giving up 29 points to Bowie in the first two quarters, Bridgeport shut down the Jackrabbit offense in the second half, stacking big defensive stands after being torched by Bowie quarterback Payton Price for 169 yards and three touchdowns in the first half.

Price was held to 83 yards in the second half, and Bowie managed just six points.

Bridgeport’s Gonsalo Ibarra had a game-sealing sack on Price in the final seconds. He said the team came out life a different group in the second half.

“We stuck with what Coach Wilson taught us and just read everything as carefully as we could,” Ibarra said. “I’m proud of my team and I’m proud of myself for not getting down.”

Bridgeport moved to 1-1 on the year. The Bulls will face Sanger on the road next week.

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