WAITSBURG - Waitsburg-Prescott used a successful extra point from Jose Barajas to pull out a 7-6 win over Dayton here Friday in Southeast 2B conference football action.
"I give that team (Dayton) 100-percent respect," W-P coach Jeff Bartlow said. "I knew it would be low scoring because I knew their defense would give us some trouble."
"Trouble" may be an understatement as the Bulldog defense, anchored by starting defensive linemen Kroft Sunderland, Andrew Mendoza, Chris McHaffie and Joey Schlachter, held W-P to 188 yards of total offense and limited the W-P passing attack to 26 yards.
"I've got a (defensive) scheme every week," Bulldog coach Dean Bickelhaupt said. "I set my own package up and try to cover everything. He (W-P quarterback Zach Bartlow) told me after the game that ‘Whatever we did frustrated the heck out of him.' We manned up on them all night and kept the pressure on."
The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and marched 57 yards to the W-P 8. Hayden Fullerton broke up the middle for a 46-yard gallop to help set the Bulldogs up.
Dayton faced a fourth-and-7 from the W-P 8. Fullerton took a pitch from Bulldog signal caller Colton Bickelhaupt, and threw a halfback pass to a wide-open Wyatt Frame to give Dayton a 6-0 lead with 8:48 left in the first quarter.
"That (halfback pass) was the last time we were in our man D," coach Bartlow said. "Our defense had to bite and come up. We decided that was a dangerous place to be and we stayed in our cover 3 and got out of our man."
The wind blew Fullerton's point-after attempt wide left and the Bulldogs settled for a 6-0 lead.
Turnovers, punting and defense dominated the rest of the first half. W-P's Bartlow intercepted a Bickelhaupt pass to end one Bulldog drive.
Bulldog defensive back Wyatt Frame knocked down two Bartlow passes, and the Dayton defense forced two fumbles. Bickelhaupt fell on the second W-P fumble as Bartlow tried a sneak on fourth-and-1 from the Bulldog 36 to end that W-P threat.
Fullerton punted for 46, 44 and 41 yards to neutralize field position, and for W-P, Dalton Estes boomed a 59-yard punt in the first quarter and added a 40-yard punt in the second period.
The Bulldogs went to intermission up 6-0, having limited the W-P passing attack to 5-of-15 for 22 yards.
"We had trouble with their man D," coach Bartlow said of the W-P passing woes. "It was press all night, and we had trouble getting away from them. Then they brought heat, and we had trouble with protection."
Dayton opened the second half with an onside kick, which Bickelhaupt recovered in stride and Dayton took over at the W-P 40. The Bulldogs gave it back following an ineligible receiver down field penalty, as Justin Zuger picked off a pass at his own 40 to end the Dayton threat.
Estes' 40-yard punt pinned Dayton at its own 14, and the W-P defense got a three-and-out. Fullerton punted for 36 yards and W-P took over at its own 47.
A five-yard penalty moved the ball to the Bulldog 48. Bartlow stuck the ball into W-P running back Billy Brown's stomach, pulled it out and scampered seven yards.
On the next play, Bartlow gave it to Brown, who rambled 37 yards to a first down at the Bulldog 4.
"That one big play got us," coach Bickelhaupt said. "Billy's big run is what beat us."
"It's my birthday and I didn't want to lose," Brown said of his run. "I had to run that ball, and the line got me there. We (Zach and I) work on that (fake). He's good at faking it. You can never tell. It (the ball) is in there, but then he will pull it out. It's grab the ball or let it go."
Bartlow powered in over the right side and W-P had it even at 6-6 with 4:10 left in the third. Barajas converted the PAT and W-P led 7-6.
"We ran our spread option on the inside," coach Bartlow said. "Billy got loose and got us down in a zone where we could score and win the game."
On the ensuing Bulldog possession, Fullerton, who finished with 121 rushing yards on 18 carries, ripped off a 38-yard run and Bickelhaupt hit Isaiah Lambert for 12 yards to key a march to the W-P 6.
The W-P defense, with stops from Chance Leroue and Bartlow and an incomplete pass, forced a 24-yard field goal attempt with 8:35 to play, which missed the uprights.
Dayton had one last shot. Following an Estes' 36-yard punt that rolled dead at the Bulldog 7, Dayton had 93 yards to go in 3:04.
The Bulldogs ran Fullerton twice for 11 yards, but Brown got a sack and Dayton faced a fourth-and-14 from its 14. Fullerton dropped in punt formation, but heaved the ball down the far sideline and Dayton's Garett Turner and W-P's Sterling Eastman went up for the jump ball. Turner came down with the ball at the W-P 44 and the Bulldogs were alive.
"I can't believe we let that happen," coach Bartlow said of the fake punt. "We're in a cover four and we give up a 40-yard pass play. There's no excuse for that."
With 48 seconds left, Bickelhaupt looked for Frame down the far sideline, but Zuger stepped in front at his own 36 for his second interception of the night to ice the W-P win.
"Justin Zuger stepped up big time," coach Bartlow said. "He deserves the game ball. To get the pick at the end, my heart just went ‘Yes, finally.'"
W-P moves to 2-0 in SE2B play, 6-0 overall, and travels to Tri-Cities Prep Friday.
Dayton drops to 1-1 and 3-2, and hosts Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia Friday.
"I'm proud of the kids, they fought hard," coach Bickelhaupt said. "Man-for-man, we can play with anybody. We're just going to take (the rest) of these games one by one and see if we can win out."
Waitsburg-Prescott 7, Dayton 6
Dayton 6 0 0 0 - 6
WP 0 0 7 0 - 7
Day - Frame 8 pass from Fullerton (kick failed).
WP - Bartlow 4 run (Barajas kick).
First downs 8 8
Rushes/yards 36-132 28-162
Passing yards 60 26
Passes (att-comp-int) 15-5-3 19-6-1
Punts 5-40.0 4-43.8
Fumbles-lost 3-0 3-1
Penalties-yards 5-25 6-51
RUSHING - Day: Fullerton 18-121, Bickelhaupt 6-20, Lambert 8-8, Frame 1-4, Schlachter 1-(-3), Team 2-(-18); W-P: Bartlow 20-95, Brown 7-68, Team 1-(-1).
PASSING - Day: Bickelhaupt 3-12-3, 10 yards; Fullerton 2-3-0, 50 yards, 1 TD; W-P: Bartlow 6-19-1, 26 yards.
RECEIVING - Day: Frame 1-10-1, Lambert 2-8, Fullerton 1-2, Turner 1-42; W-P: Zuger 1-6, D. Estes 1-1, Acevedo 2-16, Wooderchak 2-3.