The Altus High School Bulldogs jumped all over Anadarko early Friday night. They put an end to the Warriors 52 regular season game win streak in grand style, 42-25.
The Rock’s bleachers were filled on both sides of the field. Those in attendance were treated to quite a show. It was Altus’ early season homecoming game, and it seemed a fitting story to the evening to officially welcome home number 33, Taven Birdow.
Birdow wasted little time showing Altus just how much he had missed his home field. He led the Bulldogs’ offensive attack on a 71 yard tone-setting drive and punched in his first of three touchdowns on the night. Gabe Barton split the uprights for the extra point and the boys in blue were up 7-0.
The first quarter came to end with the score 7-0.
Anadarko took the kickoff and rode the swift feet of their quarterback, Nacho Gallegos, to the end zone. This tied the score at 7-7. Gallegos is very quick to be as big as he is. Although Gallegos’ running ability is the only true threat Anadarko offered, his natural ability to see running lanes before they are there is special. Gallegos has a full understanding of leverage and momentum as it pertains to bodies in motion. On several occasions throughout the game, the Bulldogs looked to be in position with Gallegos surrounded. Often these occasions were temporary illusions and Gallegos was on the loose.
Birdow caught the kickoff at his own 11 yard line. He followed the perfectly designed middle return blocking of his kickoff return team and hurdled, eluded and flat ran over anyone attempting to bring him down on his way to the end zone.
Birdow’s second TD gave the Bulldogs the lead at 14-7 after Barton tacked on another bonus point.
The Bulldogs would never give up their lead again.
Quarterback, Jayden Benway connected with Anton Anderson for a 40 yard score and the Bulldogs led 21-7.
Again, Gallegos got loose. This time for a 48 yard run to pull Anadarko closer 21-13 (kick failed). Then, Birdow found paydirt again for his third touchdown of the first half from three yards out with 33 seconds on the clock before halftime.
Altus led 28-13 at the half. Altus had 213 total yards in the first half with a balanced attack. Birdow led all ball carriers with 108 yards on 15 attempts and 3 touchdowns.
The Bulldogs forced Anadarko to turn the ball over on downs on their first possession. Sha’Quan French capped off a beautiful drive for the Bulldogs by running in for the score untouched from inside the red zone.
The Bulldogs were up 35-13 and the Bulldogs would take that lead into the 4th quarter.
Jayden Benway bounced in the clear with 8:00 left in the game from 39 yards out into the North end zone to finish off the scoring for the Bulldogs.
Gallegos managed to get loose a couple of more times, but Anadarko lost for the first time in the regular season since 2009.
“Both offenses pushed the defenses around,” said head coach Jeremy Reed. “We got pushed around on defense, but I thought our offense had control of the line of scrimmage all night.”
On the night Birdow had 152 yards and two rushing touchdowns with a kick return for a score. Benway added 89 rushes and led the Bulldogs to a huge home win while converting 10-12 third downs.
The Bulldogs move to 2-0 for the first time in this century.
NEXT ACTION FOR ALTUS IS NEXT FRIDAY AT ELK CITY
Bulldogs’ fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Elk City does not have a large seating capacity and the Bulldog fans are expected to fill it up quick.
GO BULLDOGS !!
Reach Brad Gilbert@482-1221 ext. 2076