LENOX - Not even 2 minutes into the game Friday, Lenox trailed Bedford 6-0 because of a bad punt snap. Two quarters into the game, Lenox trailed Bedford 27-14.
All of that was forgotten during the fourth quarter. A 24-point quarter gave Lenox a 38-27 win.
“That first half we had blown coverages. Bedford executed great. We did not as we should have,” said co-head coach Cole Bonde.
Things were feeling better in the third quarter for Lenox. The momentum was shifting.
Trailing 27-14, the Tigers were able to get to the Bedford 19 using a 32-yard run in the possession. A failed fourth-and-16 play was tried again because of offsetting penalties. Lenox was 2 yards short the second time giving the ball back to Bedford on the 19 with 5:54 remaining.
Lenox would eventually have a fourth-and-4 play on the Bedford 11, but came up 1 yard short. The Tigers picked up a Bedford fumble on the Bedford 36 with 1 minute left in the third quarter. Trayce Miller led Lenox with 11 tackles.
Nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Isaac Grundman hauled in a touchdown pass from the Bedford 32. A 2-point conversion inched Lenox to a 27-22 deficit.
Bedford threatened to score again but the Lenox defense stopped the Bulldogs short on fourth-and-two. Lenox would take over on their own 24. Pass plays and a Bedford penalty would get Lenox to the Bedford 19. Tiger Samson Adams’ touchdown catch would the end the drive, and with the 2-point conversion, Lenox went ahead 30-27 with 7:16 remaining.
Bedford faced a fourth-and-12 on its own 20 but an incomplete pass gave the ball back to Lenox. With 2:28 remaining, Keigan Kitzman put the game out of reach with a 15-yard scoring run. A two-point conversion was added.
The Bulldogs were shut out in the second half. The Lenox defense allowed 220 yards on the ground from 44 carries. In the air, Bedford was 5-9 for 132 yards.
Bedford scored first in the game after taking over the bad snap. Tristen Cummings scored on a 14-yard run to give Bedford the 6-0 advantage.
Lenox was able to move the ball on their next possession to the Bedford 20, where the drive ended on a fourth-and-11 play. Bedford returned the favor by moving the ball to the Lenox 12 including a 30-yard pass play on third-and-12. A holding penalty nullified a Bedford scoring run until Cummings scored again on a fourth-and-goal play on the 4.
The Tigers took advantage of a short kick off starting the possession on its own 37. A pass play on third-and-12 gave Lenox a first down on the Bedford 23. Tiger Isaac Grundman would score on a 14-yard run with 23 seconds left in the quarter to put Lenox on the scoreboard. He would finish the game with 18 carries for 159 yards. He was also Lenox’ leading receiver with four catches for 82 yards and a score.
Bedford Bulldogs wasted no time seconds into the second quarter with a 58-yard touchdown pass play to extend the lead to 19-8.
The Tigers were able to get out of deep in their territory starting on the 3 with a first-down pass play on third-and-13 plus a Bedford penalty. But the Tigers’ stalled on the Bedford 38 and were forced to punt. Lenox quarterback Gabe Funk finished with 8-13 passing for 142 yards and two scores.
Late in the first half, Bedford went up 27-8 with a 38-yard pass play and 2-point conversion with 3:25 remaining. Lenox showed what was in store for the second half as it was able to score before the break. Keigan Kitzman finished the drive with a 11-yard scoring run to make it 27-14 at half.
“For the boys there was a little sense of panic, but we scored late and had some success toward the end of the half and something to build off of for our adjustments in the second half,” Bonde said.
“Inside the heart was going,” he said about trying to prevent panic. “But it turned out alright. If we can put four quarters together we can be a pretty good team, but we got to do that first.”