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First seed Bulldogs romp Blue Dons, 57-7

Doddridge hosts East Hardy in the second round

Photo by Josh Hughes Doddridge County’s Connor Cunningham breaks a tackle during a 21-yard catch and run during the second quarter of the Bulldogs 57-7 win over Madonna in the first round of the Class A state football playoffs Saturday afternoon in West Union.

WEST UNION — The No. 1 seed showed why it is the No. 1 seed.

A 57-7 win for the Doddridge County Bulldogs over the Madonna Blue Dons advanced them to the next round of the Class A playoffs against East Hardy following EHHS’s 12-7 win against Midland Trail.

Three Reese Burnside scores paced the Bulldogs (10-1), as depth came in handy during this Saturday afternoon contest at Cline Stansberry Stadium.

Burnside was sharing carrying duties with Hunter America when the senior standout came up gimpy after a fumble with 10:32 left in the first half. From there, he didn’t return to the game but still finished with 101 yards on 13 carries.

Offering an update on the senior running back, head coach Bobby Burnside talked about America’s plan to play against East Hardy.

“Our trainers could have had him ready to play in the second half, but when we took control, we didn’t want to risk that,” he said. “I think he’ll be good to go for next week.”

America’s longest rush of the game came early in the contest, as he broke off a 50-yard run to see the ‘Dogs up at the Madonna 8. Two plays later, Reese Burnside cashed in from five yards away for his second score of the afternoon. The first touchdown was a 48-yard dash to the end zone, as that helped him notch 124 yards on the ground with 13 rushes. Burnside credited his blocking for the line’s ability to open up lanes for him in the complete showing.

“It was just that our line was blocking, and our counters really helped us,” he said “We faked one direction and ran to the weak side. It was a great feeling. I couldn’t have done any of that without our blocking up front. Our line did amazing, and so did our quarterback and receivers.”

Speaking of that quarterback, Noah Bumgardner threw the ball around with pinpoint accuracy. He launched for 185 yards and a touchdown on the afternoon. His most accurate throw came with less than a minute gone by in the third quarter, when he threw in stride to Griffin Devericks for a 73-yard score. Devericks spoke after the game about the depth his team possesses and his thoughts on how far the team can go.

“Everything was going right at times, and everything was going wrong at times. We’ve still got things we’ve got to fix, but it was a great win today,” he said. “I don’t know much about (East Hardy), but they’re in the playoffs for a reason. We’ve got to prepare for them like we would any other week. Every aspect of this team just works so well with the depth we have. Running opens up the passing game , and it just meshes really well.”

After an offensive showing of 503 yards on Saturday, attention shifts to East Hardy. The Cougars only needed 12 to win their first-round matchup, but a DCHS defense which allowed only 106 yards of total offense to the Blue Dons (6-4-1) are looking for a repeat of that performance. Madonna was held in check, as big defensive moments like a Hunter Jenkins interception and a safety forced by Adam Burnside limited any chanced of an offensive breakthrough. The time and date of the second-round game is, at this time, to be determined.

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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