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Bulldog football runs past Bucks

By Cort Reynolds

The Ada High School football team made the long trip to Buckeye Central for a non-league outing Friday night, and came away with a crucial 41-25 win over the hosts in their final pre-conference tune-up.

Ada improved to 2-1 with the impressive road victory that bolstered their early-season playoff hopes. 

The Bucks, who had shut out two winless teams in a pair of blowouts prior to playing Ada, dropped to 2-1 after the defeat.

The potent Bulldog ground game rolled up a season-high 355 rushing yards and ran for five touchdowns against the previously impervious BC defense.

“We are excited about the win,” Ada third-year head coach Toby Smith. “The kids played hard. After last week we needed to have a good week of practice, and we did. 

“Buckeye Central had scored 117 points in two games, and our defense stepped up when we needed them to,” he continued. 

Ada fell behind 6-0 early on an 11-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Derex Dean to Alec Phillips. The extra point kick by Dom Dean kick made it 7-0 with 3:23 left in the first period.

The Bulldogs roared right back when Ada junior quarterback Levi Green scampered 42 yards to paydirt. Logan Jolliff tied it 7-7 with the point after boot with 43 ticks to go in the opening stanza. 

On the next possession, junior Kaine Fisher struck by finding the end zone on a 44-yard scoring run with 9:19 left in the first half. The PAT kick put Ada in front for good, 14-7.

Derex Dean answered with a 17-yard TD keeper of his own at the 6:10 mark of the second stanza. But the purple and gold defense blocked the extra point to retain a slim 14-13 lead.

Punishing Bulldog senior running back Jalee Bolden then scored on a 28-yard run with 2:46 left in the half. The Jolliff extra point extended the lead to 21-13.

The Ada defense then held the Bucks to preserve an eight-point lead at intermission.

The Bulldogs built a 15-point lead early in the second half. Bolden scored  on a 22-yard run by just 89 seconds into the third period, followed by Jolliff’s fourth PAT boot.

BC struck back with a 21-yard TD pass from Derex Dean to Jack Phillips on a clutch fourth down-and-six play.

The Bulldog defense broke up the two-point conversion pass to maintain a 28-19 lead with 8:42 still left in the third quarter.

The margin remained the same heading to the final period as both defenses tightened up the rest of the third stanza.

Ada gave itself some breathing room with a 35-19 cushion on Bolen’s one-yard scoring plunge with 11:14 left in the fourth period.

Green then put the game out of reach 41-19 with a four-yard TD jaunt at the 1:39 mark.  

Buck QB Derex Dean found the end zone on a two-yard run with 3:13 remaining to keep the faint buck hopes alive. But the two-point conversion try was stopped by Ada to keep the final margin at 41-25.

“We made some halftime adjustments that the kids did well with,” Smith noted.


1 2 3 4 F

Ada 7 14 7 13 41

BC 7 6 6 6 25


Notes and stats

Ada amassed 21 first downs compared to 18 chain-movers by BC.

The Bulldogs compiled 433 yards in total offense on 57 plays, compared to 240 yards on 60 plays by the Bucks.

The Bucks averaged 4.0 yards per play, while the Bulldogs averaged 7.6 yards per snap. Ada netted 355 yards on 39 rushes, an average of 9.1 per carry.

Green led the Bulldogs with 167 yards rushing and two TDs on 20 carries (8.4 avg per rush).

Green also completed nine of 18 passes for 78 yards, with no scores or interceptions. 

Bolden rushed for 139 yards and three TDs on 17 carries (8.2 avg.). Fisher added 44 yards on one rush for a big tie-breaking score.

Fisher also caught six passes for 54 yards. Kayleb Hickman added two receptions for 14 yards.

Buck QB Dean ran the ball 14 times for 73 yards, and completed 18 of 37 aerials for 124 yards with two TDs.

Jack Phillips snagged seven passes for 64 yards and one score. Alec Phillips hauled in four receptions and one TD.

Dominic Dean added 37 yards rushing and three catches for 23 yards.

The Bulldogs committed eight penalties for 106 yards, while the Bucks were flagged twice for just 10 yards.

Ada converted four of 12 third down tries, while the Bucks were successful on just four of 15 attempts on third down. BC made it on three of seven tries on fourth down, while Ada converted one of three times.

The Bulldogs won in time of possession, 25:01 to 22:49. BC lost two fumbles for a pair of turnovers, while Ada committed no miscues.

Max Puerto booted a 51-yard punt and averaged 43.5 yards on two kicks. Jolliff was successful on 5-6 PAT tries. Puerto also recorded a sack.

Dalton Amos contributed one sack. Liam Vieira led the defense with 5.5 tackles, and Zack Zimmerman added five stops. Kayleb Hickman wa credited with four tackles.

It was the first and only meeting for Ada vs. BC. With Ada moving to the Blanchard Valley Conference next year, they will have eight league games (instead of seven) and thus only two non-conference contests, not three.

So instead of a two-game home-and-home series, the return engagement at home vs. BC was dropped from the 2024 schedule.

Ada at Crestview for NWC opener in week 4
Ada visits Crestview for their last Northwest Conference opener in week four next Friday.

It will be the first home game for the Knights after playing three road contests to start their campaign. 

The Knights improved to 2-1 with a 21-20 win at Wayne Trace Friday. Crestview previously beat Parkway 41-27, and lost at McComb 55-13.

Ada beat the Knights 34-26 last year in week nine at War Memorial Stadium.

Crestview is ranked eighth in the unofficial Div. II, Region 26 computer rankings.

“There are a bunch of things we need to improve on if we expect to win games going forward,” Smith offered. “Our kids will watch the film and work hard to try and improve.”

PHOTOS by Teri Salyer

Ada sophomore Kayleb Hickman tackles a Buckeye Central receiver in
41-25 Bulldog win.

Ada junior Liam Vieira pursues a Buck ballcarrier.