ACHS quarterback Gabe Welch

Arkansas City High School sophomore quarterback Gabe Welch takes off on a quarterback keeper with 4:40 left in the first quarter Friday night against Maize at Bulldog Stadium. Providing the block is senior lineman Jarrett Brooks (72).

The best thing about this brutal three-week schedule for the Arkansas City High School football team is that it’s over.

The Bulldogs now can move on after Friday night’s 53-8 drubbing by the Maize Eagles in nonleague action at Bulldog Stadium.

Just like they did last week against state power Goddard, the Bulldogs (1-3) had a great start out of the gate, holding the state-power Eagles (4-0) to one first down and forcing them to punt on their first possession.

After that was all Maize until the final few minutes that were played with a running clock, when tailback Wyatt Bahm capped a 10-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. The drive was extended when the Eagles were called for roughing the punter on quarterback-punter Gabe Welch. Welch further extended the drive by scrambling for space before finding Cadon Clark on a 48-yard pass on third-and-10 to the Maize 5-yard line.

Very else went right for the Bulldogs on Homecoming night, though.

The offensive line did show vast improvement, however. After being sacked 15 times in the past two games — losses to Andover and Goddard — Welch was only brought down twice on Friday, and one of those was due to a snap that skidded along the Bulldog Stadium turf.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs were playing without leading receiver Haden O’Toole, who suffered a possible torn meniscus while playing cornerback last week against the Lions. O’Toole, who recorded three interceptions in the past two games, is one of several athletes playing both ways for Ark City.

Welch completed 14 of 29 passes for 148 yards, with one interception. Clark had five catches for 92 yards. However, the Bulldogs were held to 24 net rushing yards.

Maize tailback Josh Sanders finished with 85 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries, and also hauled in four passes for 81 yards and another score. Quarterback Avery Johnson was 16-of-23 passing for 245 yards, including a 13-yard TD pass to Jacob Hanna.

For complete coverage of ACHS athletics, see Tuesday’s CourierTraveler.

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