The Bell rings red once again as the Centennial Bulldogs took down the Central Wildcats in thrilling fashion Friday at the 2014 Bell Game, with a final score of 28-26.
With just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Wildcat’s quarterback Mike Ranson ran 8 yards for a touchdown, bringing the Wildcats back within two points. With the two-point conversion pending, Central left the ball in Ranson’s hands and tried running it to the outside, but the Bulldogs defense was ready, smothering Ranson in what would be the game clinching play of the night.
If there was ever such a thing as a 12 round fight in football, this game would fit the description. For four quarters, the Wildcats and Bulldogs battled back and forth for the lead. Central was able to get on the board first when Demitrius Jackson threw a 32 yard touchdown pass to Daniel Palacio. The Wildcats weren’t able to make the two-point conversion, so that only put them ahead 6-0.
It didn’t take the Bulldogs long to respond, and they countered with two, long touchdown runs by running back Quincy Kindred. Kindred scored with a 32 yard run and then a 74 yarder which was the longest play of the night by either side. Kindred finished the night with 192 yards rushing.
Entering halftime, the Wildcats trailed 14-6, and Centennial had all the momentum. But early in the third quarter, the Wildcats responded with their own one-two punch, putting up two consecutive scoring drives. Ranson ran one in from 14 yards out; then Nikko Valdez punched one in from 20 yards to give the Wildcats a 20-14 lead.
The Bulldogs answered again, scoring on a 7 yard touchdown run by Kindred, which was his third touchdown of the night. The Bulldogs took the lead, 21-20.
Near the end of the tight scoring game, both teams exchanged punts after unsuccessful drives. Then Bulldogs running back Caleb Miranda broke free for a 50 yard touchdown run, which would prove to be the winning play. Miranda finished the game with 106 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries.
Centennial moves to 4-1 on the season and faces Coronado the next week. The 2-4 Wildcats will go on to face the 3-3 East Eagles who lost Friday to Pueblo West.