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Defense lifts Buckeyes over Bulldogs
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The Buckeyes clinched a spot in the top half of the Newton County Recreation Commission Football Division III standings Monday night at Wolverine Field with a 40-14 victory over the Bulldogs.

The Buckeyes completed an efficient first half against the Bulldogs, scoring on three of their four possessions in the period.

Andre Robinson led the Buckeyes with four touchdowns on the ground, but it was the Buckeyes' stingy defense that made the difference in the second half, shutting out the Bulldogs over the final 25 minutes of action after allowing two scores in the first half.

Both teams traded points to open the half, as the Buckeyes marched down the field on their opening drive of the game and scored. The Buckeyes needed just four plays to find the end zone, capping off a 53-yard drive on a 9-yard touchdown run from Robinson.

The Buckeyes missed the ensuing 2-point conversion kick, taking a 6-0 advantage less than three minutes into the game.

The Bulldogs answered on their next drive, bettering the Buckeyes' early offensive attack in just one play. Cortez Floyd took the Bulldogs' opening handoff and ran it 54 yards, crossing the goal line to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead after quarterback Colby Shivers connected with Dawson Schwartz on the extra point with 21:19 remaining in the first half.

The Bulldogs' lead, however, was short-lived, as the Buckeyes' responded to take the lead for good on their second drive of the game.

Down by a point, Robinson erased the Bulldogs' advantage, rushing for a 41-yard touchdown for his second score of the night. The Buckeyes' Logan Brake connected with the 2-point conversion kick, doubling up the Bulldogs 14-7.

The Bulldogs' next drive stalled, but Robinson wasn't finished scoring in the half, helping the Buckeyes to a 3-play, 56-yard scoring drive with 9:42 to go in the first half.

Robinson broke free from the Bulldogs' defense on a 21-yard touchdown run, extending the Buckeyes' lead to 20-7.

The Bulldogs' scored with 2:42 left in the half on a 25-yard run from Floyd, cutting the Buckeyes' advantage to seven heading into halftime.

Despite their late first-half charge, the Bulldogs' offense went stagnant in the second half. Robinson and the Buckeye's Kelvon Ford added rushing scores in the second half. The Buckeye's defense also got on the scoreboard, as Lucas Harper intercepted Shivers for a 55-yard touchdown return for the 40-14 final.

The Recreation Commission will host its annual bowl games this Saturday at Sharp Stadium, with training league action set to begin at 9 a.m. Games will run throughout the day in all four divisions.