The 70-year-old bleachers at Munson Stadium in Denison, Texas, creaked and groaned under the jubilation that ensued following the last tick on the Yellowjacket’s scoreboard.
For the first time this season the Royse City Bulldog faithful whooped and hollered as the Bulldogs wrapped up their first victory of the season. Also it was the first time this season that the Bulldogs were healthy. It was also a solid victory for Royse City as the Bulldogs took an early lead and the Royse City defense did the rest.
Royse City took the opening kickoff and then shook off the rust that had accumulated on some of those previously injured starters that finally saw some football action. Even though the Bulldogs first drive ended with a 31 yard punt, they still moved the ball to midfield and then introduced a ferocious Bulldog defense that would eventually hold Denison to a total of 99 yards of offense and only 9 first downs the remainder of the game.
On the Bulldogs second possession; they drove 79 yards in 7 plays to score on a 24 yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Wes Brookshire to senior receiver Jared Tumbleson. With 4:15 remaining in the first period Royse City took a 7-0 lead.
Royse City ended the first quarter with a 36 yard gain by Wes Brookshire. As the Bulldogs drove, Denison added to the Royse City cause by committing two pass interference calls. Royse City could get as close as the Yellowjacket 6 yard line, before they were forced to kick a 23 yard field goal by senior Sean Pollock at the 9:16 mark of the second period to give the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead.
The Bulldog’s defense took over once again as senior linebacker J.R. Arredondo intercepted his third pass of the year and then sophomore Jared Loftis recovered a Denison fumble that led to another field goal by Pollock. With 3:46 to play in the second quarter the senior kicker booted a 28 yard field goal to give Royse City a 13-0 lead.
Denison then took advantage of a roughing the passer penalty to begin their only touchdown scoring threat of the night. And a 16 yard run by Denison could have been a touchdown gallop if Bulldog Cavyn Pence had not made a touchdown saving tackle on the Bulldog 13 yard line. A chain of events then ensued as Denison inched their way toward the goal line. Every down was a bone jarring tackle by Bulldogs Damion Foster, J.R. Arredondo and Pence until it got down to the final four seconds of the first half with Denison inside the Bulldog two yard line on a fourth down and goal to go play. Denison decided to go for the touchdown and that proved to be the wrong decision as the Yellowjacket runner ran head on with Foster, Arredondo and Pence. Needless to say, the Bulldogs won that battle and the first half ended on a huge Royse City goal line stance and a 13-0 lead.
Denison opened the second half with a gift in the form of a 15 yard penalty. The Bulldogs tried the onside kick and were called for a late hit and the penalty gave the Yellowjackets a first down at the Royse City 39 yard line. But that Bulldog defense did their thing again and forced Denison to kick a 35 yard field goal by Scott Baird. With 9:03 on the clock, Denison trailed the Bulldogs 13-3.
Denison would turn another Bulldog mistake into points when they intercepted a Royse City pass and returned it 40 yards to the Bulldog 14 yard line. But once again the Yellowjackets were going nowhere quick as the Bulldog defense stepped up once again. Baird however would kick his second field goal and Denison’s last points of the game as the Yellowjacket kicked this one firmly between the uprights from 35 yards out. With 1:58 to play in the third quarter the Bulldogs led 13-6.
Bulldog runner Sean Wilson then began to churn out yardage for Royse City and along with a strong wind and the strong leg of Arredondo, the Bulldogs won the punting battle. Finally the punt by Arredondo pinned Denison with their back to the wall at their own 11 yard line. Two plays later Denison’s quarterback was forced back into the endzone and had an intentional grounding call on the Yellowjacket signal caller. The result of the penalty was a safety and the Bulldogs were awarded two points as well as receiving and returning the ensuing kickoff to the Denison 32 yard line.
With 3:59 remaining in the final period the Bulldogs led 15-6. However just 18 seconds later the Bulldogs handed the football off to Sean Wilson and the senior tailback hit the middle of the line with a vengeance. The scrum that ensued looked as if it would end in a whistle call by the referee; instead Wilson somehow broke out of the tangled mess in the middle and dashed, darted and weaved his way 33 yards for another Bulldog touchdown. The point after was a rare miss by Pollock as his kick bonked off of the upright and fell to the wayside for no point. As it stood the Bulldogs did not need that point after touchdown and settled for the 21-6 final score.
The Royse City Bulldogs (1-1) are searching for district win number two this Friday when they host the Sherman Bearcats (2-1) at Royse City ISD Stadium and celebrate homecoming as their 100th year celebration continues.