The Stratford Bulldogs playoff hopes were kept alive Friday night after a 20-7 win over Star Spencer. They have to beat top 10 Millwood and have Crooked Oak beat CCS this week for them to make the playoffs.

“I was very proud of our guys tonight,” head coach Michael Blackburn said. “We were really shorthanded, but we fought and battled and came away with a good win.”

It took the Bulldogs a quarter and a half to get going but once they did they scored 20 straight points in just under 12 minutes.

Late in the second quarter, Gus Smith capped off a drive with an 11-yard jaunt for a touchdown. Right before the end of the half, Smith scored again this time from two yards out as Stratford took a 13-0 lead at the break.

Midway through the third quarter Stratford struck again with Payton Wood scoring from a yard out for a 20-0 lead.

Star Spencer scored late in the third quarter as Daniel Fabre hauled in a 33-yard pass from Cecil Jackson for a touchdown as they cut the final score to 20-7.

Laken Dempsey led the offense with 88 yards on 17 carries and 48 yards receiving. Smith finished with 78 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns and also had 29 yards receiving. Wood had 10 yards rushing with a touchdown and 7-of-14 in the passing game for 87 yards. Brisyn Markovich had a catch for 10 yards.

On defense, Smith paced the way with 13 tackles and 2 interceptions. Russell Caton had 9 tackles, Dempsey 7 and Nolan Hall four. Britt Bradstreet had 6 tackles and a fumble recovery. Hunter Morton had 4 tackles and a fumble recovery. Markvoich added an interception.

“We go to Millwood Friday night to play a team that is always one of the teams to beat,” Blackburn said. “We know it's a great challenge but we look forward to going up there and competing. With a win and a CCS loss, we would be in the playoffs.”

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