The Pretty Prairie Bulldogs expected a true test from Fairfield on Friday evening, and they got that for a little more than one quarter.
After multiple lead changes in the first quarter and early stages of the second, Bulldog quarterback Alex Mains connected with Stetson Broce for a touchdown and again on a conversion to put the Bulldogs back up 20-14, Fairfield appeared poised to respond with a trip to the end zone, when Welker pulled down Falcon Wayne Schoenecker at the five-yard line.
“Jacob Welker made maybe the play of the game, they had that breakaway and with just pure hustle made that tackle, then we stopped them at the five. They gained a lot of confidence there,” said Bulldog head coach C.T. Young.
The Bulldogs then allowed the Falcons to advance only one yard throughout the next three downs, forcing a punt.
Pretty Prairie continued to roll as Main completed a pass to Trey Tallant for another TD, followed by a conversion as Mains connected with Broce.
Welker again became the hero with only seconds remaining in the half, intercepting a Ryan Ewy pass intended to Brennyn Pankratz, to send the Bulldogs to the locker room with a 28-14 halftime lead.
Mark Schnittker, who led the Bulldogs’ rushing charge in their 40-12 win over Cunningham one week ago, went on a 45-yard touchdown run and again reached the end zone for a PAT to pull further forward at 36-14, but Ewy came back for a one-yard touchdown of his own, followed by a Pankratz conversion to bring it back to a 14-point game.
Mains came back with a 53-yard TD run, then completed a pass to Welker for two more points, to give the Bulldogs a 42-22 advantage.
A déjà vu moment came later in the quarter as Welker got another interception, this time at the nine-yard line on a Ewy pass intended for Pankratz.