Bulldogs drop opener

By Larry Tucker
Posted 8/31/23

The Quitman Bulldogs fell to New Diana 24-10 in the football season opener. The Bulldog offense never got untracked in a defensive battle.

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Bulldogs drop opener


The Quitman Bulldogs fell to New Diana 24-10 in the football season opener.

The Bulldog offense never got untracked in a defensive battle. 

The Bulldogs had some highlights from special teams. Senior Carter Smith made the tackle which resulted in a safety. His 88 yard kick-off return electrified the Quitman faithful and cut the Eagle lead to 17-10 late in the game. New Diana added a score with 40 seconds left. 

The Bulldogs were hurt by three fumbles and an interception. Quitman uses the run game to power the offense. Mikey Pickering had 55 hard-fought yards in 10 carries. Klayton Meadows added 41 yards on nine carries and power runner Landon Green added 33 yards on 11 carries.

Head Coach Shane Webber liked what he saw on the kick-off return by Smith.

“The good thing about that is we have Meadows (Klayton) back to receive with Carter (Smith). I’m really proud of Carter’s return,” Webber noted. “Teams can’t kick away from either one of our return guys because both are capable of scoring on a kick-off. He also had four pass break-ups on defense.”

The Bulldogs’ longest drive came in the third quarter when Quitman reeled off nine plays only to give up an interception.

In the first half defensive struggle, New Diana finally got on the scoreboard with 46 seconds lefts on a 20-yard run. The PAT kick gave them a halftime lead of 7-0.

New Diana took the second half kick-off, but a penalty and the Bulldog defense halted the Eagle drive at their own 39-yard line. On fourth down, a snap over the head of the Eagle punter was chased to the end zone where Smith made the tackle for Quitman’s first score at the 11:16 mark to make it 7-2.

After the free kick, the Bulldogs drove to the Eagle 34-yard line where they lost a fumble. The Eagles came back with 10-play scoring drive making it 14-2 with 3:36 left in the third quarter.

A New Diana field goal with 3:33 left in the game made the score 17-2. Smith got the Bulldogs back in the game with his kick-off return. Smith ran right up the middle, outracing Eagle defenders. The Bulldog try for two was successful to make it a one-score game at 17-10 with 3:20 to go.

New Diana recovered the Bulldog onside kick effort and marched to the end zone, scoring with 40 seconds left on a double reverse.

“We lost some great lineman to graduation. Michael Hipp, Charlie Matthews and sophomore Freddy Payne are picking things up for us on the line and will get better each game,” Webber added. 

Next up is Big Sandy which fell to Prairieland 35-7.

“Big Sandy has some move-ins from Longview and they are expecting to improve on last year. They are going to spread the ball around,” Webber stated. “They are vastly improved over last year and we expect them to be ready for us.

“We know the things we need to work on to get ready for district play. The pre-district schedule gives us time to build the team we want to be,” Webber commented. “Pre-district gives us the opportunity to get better each week against some good football teams. We will have good practices this week and hope that will transfer to the playing field on Friday night.”

The Bulldogs and Wildcats will square off Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Big Sandy.