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South Callaway ran into a roadblock last week in Bowling Green but was able run over Wright City in its regular season finale at home.

After failing to keep up with Bowling Green after the first quarter in a 62-14 loss, the Bulldogs made the Wildcats play catch up before South Callaway won 27-8.

The Bulldogs (5-4, 4-3 EMO) built a 20-8 halftime lead behind 84 of their 247 rushing yards and their nine first downs in the first half. Wright City (1-7, 1-5 EMO) had eight for the whole game while South Callaway's totaled 16.

Head coach Zack Hess said his offense had its efficiency back this week, and while there wasn't as many of explosive plays, there were many good passing and rushing plays that helped the Bulldogs control the tempo.

"They did a really good job in terms of being efficient," Hess said. "We did a good job of moving the chains and were able to score enough points while keeping the ball off the ground. One of the things we discussed with the team before the game was don't let them control the tempo. We were able to do that."

It was South Callaway's lead at the end of the first quarter after senior quarterback Sam Buckner ran it to make 6-0.

Senior running back Trace Helsel scored his first of three touchdowns, finishing with 116 yards on 26 carries, with a little less than 10 minutes left in the second quarter before sophomore Tayber Gray ran for the 2-point conversion to make it 14-0.

Hess said a fumbled punt by Wright City and recovery by sophomore Evan Sconce Martin in the first quarter gave South Callaway's offense a good opportunity early to score and was indicative of a good night of coverage on special teams for the Bulldogs.

Wright City likes to have its athletes run and were able to do so on a 57-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Joey Gendron to running back Jeremiah Davis, making it 14-8 with about eight minutes left in the first half.

Hess said the Wildcats seem to have great athletes every year when South Callaway plays them, so open field tackling and limiting big plays in the vertical passing game were priorities that were sufficiently addressed as Wright City finished with 171 yards of total offense — 102 through the air on 14-of-21 passing and two passing plays of at least 20 yards.

"We did a really nice job in the flats with their screen game," Hess said. "I felt like our defensive backfield did an excellent job tonight in matching up with their really good athletes."

Helsel barreled it in again with 5:35 left for a 20-8 halftime score and then a third time with five minutes left in the third quarter, to make it 27-8 after three quarters.

The Bulldogs had one more good defensive quarter in them in the fourth to keep the score where it was. The offense added seven more first downs in the second half to eat up more clock because of a rushing attack that involved five players touching the ball. One of these runners was Buckner — five carries for 47 yards — as Hess said he also did a nice job of keeping the offense going until the end of the night.

"(Wright City's defense) played big and did a really nice job with our option game, taking our dive back, No. 1 option away most of the time," Hess said. "I thought Sam did a nice job of managing our offense. We were able to do what we do and a large part of that was because we were able to get a lead early and didn't have to rely on explosive plays to get back in the game."

South Callaway will stay at home as the No. 3 seed in Friday's first round Class 1 District 5 game against No. 6 seed Tipton (3-5).

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