Coming off an impressive win over a top-10 team, Dutchtown needed a clutch interception late in the fourth quarter by Brandon Durden to hold off Spalding for a 24-21 win on the road in a Region 4-AAAA cross-over game Thursday.
The Bulldogs improved to 4-1 overall with their first sub-region game at Locust Grove next week.
“It was ugly, but we found a way to win,” Dutchtown coach Jason Galt said.
Trailing 21-17 in the fourth quarter, it was Durden who came up with another big play to give Dutchtown’s offense an opportunity to take the lead.
Spalding went to punt on its 40 yard line, but on a bad snap Durden tackled the punter to give Dutchtown the ball on the Jaguars’ 30. Bulldogs running back Will Smith scored on an 8-yard run just a few plays later to put Dutchtown up for good.
The Bulldogs avoided what would’ve been a serious let-down after a 38-0 upset win over then No. 8-ranked and previously undefeated Riverdale last Friday.
“We were challenged,” Galt said. “Had adversity, we were losing, but we came back to win this game. It’s big for our program.”
“I think for us, we came off the Riverdale game and it was a big win for us,” Galt added. “But this week, we don’t have school and it’s not a regular routine, plus a short week, throws everything up in the air. With football, it’s just really important to have a routine.
“But definitely give credit to Spalding. They made plays when they had to. They battled to the end. ... In the end, the better team won.”
Rodel Shorter had nine catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns — one on a double-pass from receiver Brandon Thomas on the second play of the game for a 75-yard score. The other was a 20-yard touchdown pass from Donovahn Jones (8-for-10 passing, 100 yards, one touchdown) that gave Dutchtown a 17-14 lead going into halftime.
Ryan Kangiser made a 28-yard field goal that put Dutchtown up 10-0 early in the first quarter.