By Matt Kelton Pioneer Sentinel
Henrietta faces Hamilton for bidistrict in Graham, Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Henrietta’s final tune-up before opening its state playoff drive was over shadowed Friday night by a fourth quarter brawl that resulted in the expulsion of five players from both teams.
Alvord, whose season came to an end when the final buzzer sounded, won the game, 28-14. Controversial calls from the officials were a factor in the game.
Alvord had scored its final touchdown, a one-yard run from Trevor Hardee, when the fight broke out between an Alvord offensive lineman and a Henrietta linebacker. Both sidelines cleared as coaches from both sides tried to get their players under control. Three Henrietta and two Alvord athletes were ejected. A fourth Henrietta player was ejected later in the game.
The touchdown came as Alvord held a 21-7 lead over the Bearcats, and was set up with an Alvord fumble recovery.
After Henrietta took an Alvord punt at its own 20-yard-line, Bearcat quarterback Ben Fletcher connected with Bryson Pennington for a big gain, but the ball came loose as Pennington hit the ground. Alvord’s Jesse Brown picked up the fumble, taking to the 2-yard line.
Henrietta recovered Alvord’s onside kick attempt at the Bulldog 44-yard line and scored four plays later on a 17-yard run by Dalton Day. The touchdown, for the final score, was set up on an 18-yard run from Fletcher, and a 15-yard pass from Fletcher to Jake Sanchez.
Alvord held a 7-0 lead at halftime with a first quarter, one-yard touchdown run from Alvord’s lead rusher Brandon Aeling. Aeling finished the night with 19 carries four 84 yards.
The Bulldogs scored again in the third on an 11-yard pass from Trevor Hardee to Brown. In the fourth quarter, Hardee connected with Aeling on a four-yard touchdown pass for a 21-0 lead.
Henrietta put its first points on the board with a one-yard run from Dalton Day. Henrietta’s Cole Alford took an Alvord onside kick to the Bulldog’s 45-yard line. C.D. Crumpton took his team to the 31 on a 14-yard carry around the outside, followed by an 11-yard carry from Day.
A personal foul against Alvord put the Bearcats at first-and-one on the 11-yard line. Pounding runs from Day and Crumpton moved Henrietta to inside the 2-yard line.
Freshman Jameson Dowell kicked both extra-points for the Bearcats.
The Bearcats finished with 200 yards rushing on 32 runs, Including 80 yards from Day 13 carries. Ethan Cantrell followed with five carries for 39 yards.
Fletcher, who took over as signal-caller after a first-quarter ankle injury put starting quarterback Kolten Booher on the sideline, completed four of 15 pass attempts for 59 yards. Henrietta totaled 16 pass attempts.
Henrietta gave up two fumbles.
Korben Allen had a big night on defense with 14 tackles, including eight solos.
Alvord finished with 337 yards offense. The bulldogs had 224 yards rushing on 39 carries and completed 12 of 24 pass attempts for 113 yards.
Sixteen penalties were called in the game, eight against Henrietta totaling 70 yards and eight against Alvord for 55 yards.
With the loss, Henrietta finished the regular season at 5-5, and 3-2 in district for second place.
The Bearcats will face Hamilton for a bidistrict playoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Graham.