ALEDO — Trailing by three touchdowns against No. 5 Lindsay, Bosqueville could have easily collapsed and called it a season.
But the Bulldogs had a better idea.
With Luke Bradshaw hitting long touchdown passes to Ryder Roark and Larson Hoffmeyer in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs rallied for a stunning 21-20 win over the previously unbeaten Knights on Friday night.
The Bulldogs (9-3) will advance to the regional finals against District 7-2A Division I rival Crawford. The Pirates edged the Bulldogs, 27-20, on Oct. 23 for the district title.
Bosqueville coach Clint Zander was proud of the way his team kept its poise against Lindsay (11-1) when it was down 20-0 late in the second quarter.
“We had been talking about it all week that they had beaten nearly every team they played by big points and hadn’t had any adversity,” Zander said. “And we have. Our kids have been in tough games and they hadn’t, and I think that showed tonight when they had the pressure on them they didn’t make the plays.”
The Bulldogs took their first lead when Bradshaw hit Hoffmeyer for a 62-yard touchdown pass with 4:57 remaining in the game.
“I ran outside and my buddy Ryder Roark ran a slant,” Hoffmeyer said. “He was covered and Luke Bradshaw threw a good ball and I was able to get under it and score.”
From his linebacker spot, Hoffmeyer had helped stop the Knights on their previous drive when he nailed Jace Edington for no gain on second down and then broke up Kolt Shuckers’ third-down pass.
“He’s special for us,” Zander said. “He’s done a good job defensively for us all year. Offensively, he’s had some sparks here and there. He’s a film studier and he knows what they’re going to do before we do sometimes. That’s key to him on defense.”
After misfiring on passes earlier in the game, Bradshaw spotted Roark deep down the right side for a 66-yard touchdown to cut Lindsay’s lead to 20-14 with 9:35 remaining in the game.
But the key to setting up those touchdown passes was Bosqueville’s running game. Late in the first half, the Bulldogs started pounding the ball up the middle with Jay King and Dauvo McDonald leading a 75-yard march on 17 plays for a touchdown.
Bradshaw finished it off with a nine-yard touchdown pass to a wide open King to cut Lindsay’s lead to 20-7 with 16 seconds left in the first half. King was Bosqueville’s workhorse with 101 yards rushing on 30 carries.
“I challenged the offensive line before that last series of the first half that if we were going to have a chance they had to take over the game,” Zander said. “We were able to run the ball when we could and we had a couple big pass plays for touchdowns.”
Before the Bulldogs broke through for their first touchdown, Lindsay dominated as Shuckers hit a 38-yard touchdown pass to Caleb McKinney on the first drive followed by his six-yard scoring pass to Garrett Ellender with 6:09 left in the first quarter.
Shuckers, who has thrown 54 touchdown passes this season, ran for a nine-yard score to make it 20-0 with 5:05 left in the second quarter before Bosqueville started making its comeback.
“I’m just really excited,” Hoffmeyer said. “We knew we could hang in there if we just kept working hard. We took it play by play and shut them out in the second half. It was awesome.”