LAWTON – Darrell Frain and his coaching staff at Riverside have been selling the opportunity to play at the UNI-Dome for the past three years.
Friday night, the Bulldogs took one giant step toward that goal, punching their way into the traditional playoffs and round of 16 for the first time since 2001 with a come-from-behind 26-24 win over Lawton-Bronson.
For what seemed like the umpteenth time this year, Austin Kremkowski and Rhett Bentley were the winning tandem. It was Kremkowski’s 17-yard pass to Bentley with 54 seconds left that was the game-winner.
“We just wanted one chance to get the last score. It was a crazy game and we had the ball and chance to score, and we took advantage,” said Frain.
The sequence leading up to the game-winning score was equally as crazy.
Kremkowski fired a 5-yard touchdown pass to Caden Manzer with 3:19 left to give the ‘Dawgs a 19-18 lead. But the Eagles got a long kickoff return, and eventually scored on Chayton Rowe’s 1-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was stopped, and facing a 24-19 deficit the ‘Dawgs had the momentum.
Brogan Allensworth had a long gain on a slant route, after which Kremkowski had a pair of pass completions to set up the screen pass to Bentley, which was the game-winner.
The Bulldogs then stopped the Eagles on their set of downs, with Eli Ruyn getting a big quarterback sack.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 8-1, their best in almost two decades. The team awaits its first “round of 16” assignment, which comes at noon today.
“We had a physical game, and we’re anticipating either Logan-Magnolia or (Council Bluffs) St. Albert, so that’ll be another physical game. We’ll get iced and healed up and be ready to roll on Monday,” said Frain.