INGALLS — The crisp chilly wind of a western Kansas fall did not cool down the Ingalls Bulldogs (7-2, 3-2), as the 8-Man Division II team rolled to a 50-32 win over the Pretty Prairie Bulldogs (7-3,4-1) and claiming their first Regional Championship under head coach Vestal Teeter here Friday night.
This battle of the Bulldogs favored Ingalls, particularly in the first half as the scoring came often and early for the home team. The first points of the game were put up by freshman Tate Davis, who plunged into the end zone with 2:45 left in the first quarter. This was the fourth attempt by Ingalls to punch the ball in, after a Pretty Prairie turned the ball over on downs, giving Ingalls a short field. After a failed 2-point attempt, Ingalls took an early 6-0 lead into the second quarter.
After adding 16 more points to their lead in the second quarter, Ingalls extended the lead to 22-0 at halftime.
Although the offense was efficient in the first half, the story of the first half was the Ingalls defense. Ingalls only allowed two first downs in the first half. This is impressive when you consider Pretty Prairie’s junior quarterback Samuel Livingston had been tearing up offenses all season long.
“The defense played well. When we were watching game film, we understood that Livingston was the key. We had to get him contained,” said head coach Vestal Teeter of his defense on Friday.
Ingalls continued to add pressure to Pretty Prairie immediately at the start of the second half, after sophomore quarterback Timothy Gillen connected with classmate Easton Irsik for a 54-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the third quarter.
Pretty Prairie did make a game of it in the third quarter, however, and swung the momentum to its side for a bit. After the Ingalls touchdown pass to open up the second half, Pretty Prairie put together a a pair of scoring drives as they both finished the same, with Lane Bearce touchdowns. The 28-point spread quickly went down to just a dozen points.
This wasn't something new for Teeter, as he preached adversity to his team on a daily basis.
“They never gave up they always kept trying even when adversity hit, they never got down," Teeter said. "Its controlling the highs and the lows in football. They stayed pretty even keel tonight.We talk about adversity all the time with our team. And when adversity strike you have to answer."
That adversity showed immediately after the second Pretty Prairie touchdown when Teeter ran a flea flicker pass with wide receiver Tate Davis connecting with Irsik for his third receiving touchdown of the game, this one covering 36 yards. This gave Ingalls a 34-16 lead, and command for the rest of the game.
Ingalls added a pair of insurance TDs to ice this one away.
Senior running back Mikel Osbourne had himself a game.
After contributing for three rushing touchdown, Osbourne knew that it started with his offensive line.
“I think we played really well. Our offensive line was there they had all these blocks for me, and that opened up the game for me to get out there and make these big plays," Osbourne said.
Osbourne, doesn't want his season to end just yet which is why he is playing a bit harder in the playoffs to keep his, and his team’s season, alive.
“I’m just trying to run hard. We had a a couple of bad weeks in the running game and I've just been trying to run hard and get some extra yards.”
Although this is a big win for Ingalls, the Bulldogs have unfinished business.
“Our goal is still not there yet," Teeter said. "This is just the next step in that goal as a team that we have been looking for, and we are trying to reach the next level.”
The Bulldogs will travel Friday to face Otis-Bison (9-1) for the sectional championship and a berth in the Nov. 17 sub-state.