GREENVILLE — The Royse City Bulldog fans packed the visitors’ side of T.A. “Cotton” Ford Stadium last Friday night.
The Bulldogs were listed as the favorites to win this one, but the Greenville Lions didn’t get the memo. Greenville’s homecoming was even more incentive to pull off the upset, but Royse City disregarded those festivities to obtain their sixth victory of the 2019 football season. 17-14.
Fumbles, high snaps and penalties were just some of the things you would expect to see in the early season, but they were evident in the early minutes of this game.
Royse City senior John Klump recovered a fumble and then the Bulldogs nearly fumbled the ball away to Greenville when the Lions chased down an errant exchange from the center to Bulldog quarterback.
However, the Bulldogs finally got their offense moving following a Greenville punt and a personal foul penalty on Royse City. The Bulldogs then began their first legitimate drive of the night from their own 8-yard line. Eleven plays later, Royse City capped off the 92-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run by senior fullback Payton Petroff. Anthony Ortiz kicked the extra point for a 7-0 Bulldog lead with 4:59 left in the first quarter.
Greenville responded with a drive that consumed 3:59 off the clock that covered 50 yards and was capped by a 9-yard touchdown run by Lester Turner. Zach Allen added the PAT to tie the score at 7 all with 1:00 to play in the first stanza.
With flags, fumbles and flying footballs all over the field the Lions finally struck again with 1:56 to play in the first half. An 11-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Stephens to Shawn Brown gave the homecoming crowd a 14-7 halftime lead by the Lions.
A 20-yard loss on another high snap gave pause to the Bulldog offense again but the Bulldog defense held on to close out the second quarter.
The Bulldogs gathered themselves during the break and it was that Bulldog defense that gifted Royse City when senior linebacker Zamien Anderson intercepted a pass that would lead to a 33-yard field goal by Ortiz. With 9:36 remaining in the third quarter, Royse City trailed 14-10.
From this point on it was an all-out battle as both teams butted heads and it was up to the special team’s play to put the Bulldogs back into the role they have been accustomed to this season. Klump signaled to the Royse City bench on fourth and one at midfield that he wanted to carry the football on a fake punt and he quickly rambled for a 5-yard gain and a Bulldog first down.
Petroff and Ahmon Petty-Dozier churned out valuable yardage and a pass interference call against Greenville added up to 4-yard touchdown run by Petroff. With :36 remaining in the third period, the scoring in this game was over after Ortiz split the uprights to give the Bulldogs a 17-14 lead.
Junior Joe Vara cashed in on the ensuing onside kick by recovering the loose ball on the Greenville 49-yard line. Four plays later, the Bulldogs’ 24-yard field goal try failed.
The final three minutes of the game was an intense exchange of defense from both teams, however it was Royse City’s Jamie Cortez that stopped a serious threat with a 10-yard sack of Greenville’s quarterback on fourth down with 2:34 remaining.
The Lions did get one last shot with 25 seconds left, but a couple of incomplete passes later and Royse City captured the Interstate 30 rivalry trophy for 2019.
Royse City (6-1, 4-1) will host the Kaufman Lions (1-6, 1-4) this Friday at Royse City ISD Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30.
Offensive Player of the Week
Payton Petroff was all in on winning this football game. His determination, his leadership and his talent kept the Bulldog offense churning out approximately 300 rushing yards against the Greenville Lion defense. Petroff contributed 125 yards rushing and two touchdowns to help win the I-30 rivalry contest. Several times in this game, Royse City needed the tough yardage. The kind of yardage that keeps the ball moving downfield. And when that yardage was needed, Petroff’s NO. 3 was dialed up, and he delivered.
Defensive Player of the Week
his young man could be the DPOTW almost every week. But No. 94, Jamie Cortez, entered this game with a stomach virus and was not up to par for the seventh game of the Bulldog’s season. But Cortez shook off the bug and fought through it all to deliver another stellar performance. As the game progressed so did Cortez. Taking on two and three offensive linemen every play, it came down to Cortez making the big play in the final minutes to seal the Bulldog victory and he delivered. Cortez mustered all of his strength to corral Greenville’s quarterback for a 10-yard loss with 2:34 to play in the game. That play delivered the overwhelming momentum the Bulldogs needed to gain the win over the Lions.
Last Week’s Results
Royse City 17, Greenville 14
Kaufman 34, Terrell 33
Corsicana 41, Sulphur Springs 14
Ennis 52, Forney 0
North Forney — Bye Week
Denton Braswell 37, Frisco Reedy 7
Little Elm 27, Frisco Liberty 24
Denison 10, Frisco 7
Frisco Lone Star 41, The Colony 38
McKinney North 56, West Mesquite 34
Lucas Lovejoy 63, Princeton 35
Lancaster 63, Bryan Adams 0
Highland Park 56, Dallas Samuel 6
Red Oak 70, Adamson 0
Dallas Lincoln 34, Farmersville 29
Dallas Carter 33, Hillcrest 0
Melissa 29, Celina 17
Sunnyvale 58, Nevada Community 17
Caddo Mills 55, Dallas Roosevelt 6
Allen 58, Jesuit 33
Wylie 14, Rowlett 13
Rockwall 76, North Mesquite 7
Longview 49, Rockwall-Heath 13
This Week’s Schedule and Predictions
Kaufman at Royse City — Royse City by 17
Corsicana at Forney — Corsicana by 14
Greenville at Sulphur Springs — Greenville by 10
North Forney at Terrell — North Forney by 17
Ennis — Bye Week
Tyler John Tyler at McKinney North — McKinney North by 8 (Thursday 7:00)
Denton Braswell at Princeton — Braswell by 21
Lovejoy at Lake Dallas — Lovejoy by 14
Dallas Conrad at Red Oak — Red Oak by 24
Frisco Centennial at Frisco Lone Star — Lone Star by 17
Lancaster at Mansfield Timberview — Lancaster by 3
Dallas Sunset at Highland Park — Highland Park by 44
Crandall at Midlothian Heritage — Heritage by 10
Anna at Celina — Celina by 17
Caddo Mills at Farmersville — Caddo Mills by 21
Dallas Lincoln at Nevada Community — Lincoln by 3
Melissa at Argyle — Argyle by 7
Sunnyvale at Roosevelt — Sunnyvale by 30
Garland Naaman Forest at Wylie — Wylie by 6
Rowlett at Garland — Garland by 3
Mesquite Horn at Rockwall-Heath — Horn by 27
Rockwall at Tyler Lee — Rockwall by 24
Kaufman at Royse City Preview
The Kaufman Lions are coming off of their first win of the season and it was a close one as the Lions defeated the Terrell Tigers 34-33 with the Tigers on the Lions 1-yard line as time elapsed in the game. It is getting very close to the end of the season for all teams this year. Kaufman’s remaining schedule is at Royse City, Sulphur Springs and at Forney. The Bulldogs host Kaufman, travel to North Forney and host Terrell for the final game of the season.
Kaufman lost a very talented group of seniors to graduation in 2018. The Lions this year are led by junior quarterback Billy Pullen. Pullen has completed 39 percent of his passing attempts for 401 yards and one interception. The leading Lion rusher is Raikyviun Shaw with 108 carries for 528 yards and two touchdowns.Their leading receiver is Charleston Miller with 16 receptions for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Also expect to see Pullen throw to Daylon Dickerson, who has 12 receptions for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bulldogs are in the hunt for a playoff spot and each victory puts them a game closer to that goal. If the Bulldogs were to secure a playoff spot, Royse City would represent one of the top four playoff positions in District 8-5A Division II. This district would face District 7-5A-II in the first round. Definitely don’t want to count our chickens before they hatch, but just for fun, the current leaders in District 7 are Frisco (7-1, 5-1), Denison (5-2, 4-1), Denton Braswell (5-2, 4-1) and Lovejoy (5-2, 4-1). Others in that district that are still alive are Frisco Reedy (4-4, 3-3) and Princeton (3-4, 2-3).
Currently the District 8-5A leaders are Ennis (7-1, 6-0), Corsicana (6-2, 5-1), Royse City (6-1, 4-1) and Greenville (4-3, 3-2). And it is possible for North Forney (4-3, 2-3), with a little help, to sneak into one of the playoff spots.
The Bulldogs will need to take care of business this Friday night to capture a seventh win this season. That is the most wins the Bulldogs have had in over 10 years.