By MATT PIKE
St. Joseph Post
BOWLING GREEN- A historic run over the last three years for the East Buchanan Bulldogs football team has come to an end.
The Bulldogs traveled to Bowling Green for the Class 2 State Quarterfinals, falling to the Bobcats 50-22 Saturday afternoon.
The game started out with a bang as Bowling Green won the coin toss and chose to receive. East Buchanan Head Coach Dan Ritter sent his kick unit out for an onside kick, but ultimately it was recovered by Bowling Green.
From there the Bobcats scored two quick touchdowns, one on offense and one on defense. Senior running back Bleyne Bryant rushed in from four yards out for the first score. On the following drive, East Buchanan quarterback Gage Busby got hit as he threw, trying to throw the ball to the ground, it was scooped up by a Bobcat defender who took it to the endzone for a pick six.
On both scores Bowling Green converted two point conversions, putting them up 16-0 late in the first quarter.
The Bobcats scored 22 more unanswered points over the next 11 minutes plus of the first half, eventually pushing the lead to 38-0 late in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs answered near the end of the quarter, running back Trevor Klein gettting the touchdown, and Busby finding reciver Trey Johnson for the two point conversion.
Down 38-8 at halftime, it was unfamiliar territory for the Bulldogs, who had rarely been down all season.
"We just got down early and then we kind of got out of what we do, I mean we're usually up, we don't know what we're doing when we're down," Ritter told reporters following the game.
East Buchanan showed some fight to start the second half though, which Ritter was proud of. Following a long run by Aidan Hensley, Busby found Johnson again, this time for a touchdown, after converting the two point try East Buchanan trailed 38-16.
Bowling Green struck again to start the fourth quarter, punching in a touchdown from a yard out, but were unable to convert the two point conversion. One offensive drive later, the Bobcats got another touchdown, the fourth of the day from Bryant, pushing the lead to 50-16 with just over five minutes left.
The Bulldogs final score of the game was thanks to Klein, who fought through five Bobcat defenders for a touchdown.
It was an era to remember for 13 East Buchanan seniors. Two straight KCI Conference titles, three straight district titles, and back to back Class 1 State Championships in 2021 and 2022. The Bulldogs also put together a 25 game win streak prior, a school record, prior to the loss.
Ritter says through the negative, its the positive he chooses to focus on.
"I mean these kids have gotten it done the last two years and then into this year, I mean being undefeated up to this point," Ritter says. "I'm so proud of these seniors, there's 13 of them, and each one of those had a big role today in this game and they finished well, and I'm so proud of what they were able to accomplish these past few years."
East Buchanan finishes the season 11-1.