GUNNISON — "You can't make mistakes against a good team," said Gunnison coach Yori Ludvigson after the Bulldogs' 30-7 loss to Beaver on Friday night.
Those mistakes, which included a pair of bad snaps and four interceptions, helped Beaver earn its second win of the season.
Twice the Bulldogs were forced to punt early in the first quarter, and both snaps were off the mark, resulting in excellent field position for the Beavers. The first resulted in a chip-shot field goal by Tyler Roberts, the second a 7-yard touchdown run by Ty Yardley.
Trailing by 10 points at the start the second half, the Bulldogs took the field without Braden Harris, who missed the remainder of the game with a wrist injury. His absence hurt the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball.
Nevertheless, things were looking up for Gunnison when Macklin Johnson pounced on an errant Beaver pitch. It appeared there might be a momentum swing, but the Beaver defense held and Yardley seemed to use the miscue as a source of inspiration.
Throughout the second half, the junior quarterback ran the option to perfection, reading the defense and making good decisions. He ran for 90 second-half yards and added two more touchdowns for the Beavers.
As a team, Beaver rushed for 254 yards, getting 98 from Yardley on eight And Jeremy Brown had four carries for 37 yards. Yardley completed 3-of-12 passes for 35 yards, with Edwards catching one for 15 yards and Lyndon Bradshaw grabbing two for 20 yards.
The Bulldogs had 131 yards rushing and completed 6-of-12 passes for 78 yards, a total of 209 yards of offense. They were led by Tanner Fielding with 75 yards on 13 runs. Lafe Christenson had the only Gunnison score of the game, a one-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. He carried twice for 10 yards.
Beaver coach Steve Hutchings was pleased with the intensity of his team.
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"They played the whole game," he said.
He also felt good about Yardley's progress.
"He struggled a little last week," Hutchings said. "He's got to run the option well for us to be successful."
Despite the loss, Ludvigson feels confidence in his team as well.
"Beaver's a solid team," he said. "They're fast and aggressive. We're 1-and-1 against two very good teams," he said. "We've got to eliminate our mistakes and we'll be OK."
The Bulldogs host Layton Christian next week, while Beaver will travel to Milford.