Special to the Daily Sun
Opportunities lost, opportunities gained. The Frost Polar Bears took opportunities away from the Wortham Bulldogs in the first half to claw to a 0-0 tie. After halftime, the Bears roared out of the locker room scoring on special teams to jump-start scoring three touchdowns in both the third and fourth quarters to beat Wortham 41-12 in District 9-1A Div. II play.
Wortham (3-5, 0-2) drove the ball inside the Frost (4-4, 1-1) 10-yard line twice in the second quarter without scoring. The Bulldogs chewed up 8:26 of clock on a 16-play drive to the Polar Bears 9-yard line. On third down and seven, a high snap darted over the left shoulder of QB Witty Busby that Frost DB Ben Thorton pounced on. Later in the quarter, Wortham marched the ball for over four minutes on a 11-play drive to the Frost 4-yard line. Rudy Miller’s 22-yard field goal attempt went wide left.
In the first half, Wortham rushed for 202 yards on 30 carries. They gained 18 first downs. Frost, on the other hand, only had 11 yards total offense – of which 25 yards came on two Zach Terry passes and gained only one first down.
Alex Cruz led the Bears out the locker room with a crowd-electrifying 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the third quarter. Cruz took Skylar Jordan’s kick at the Frost 15-yard line, eased to the right hash, picked up a block, then found the wall and scampered down the right sideline for the game’s first score.
On their second possession in the third quarter, the Polar Bears started at the Wortham 45-yard line and pushed to Bulldogs 15-yard line on 9 plays. On fourth down and ten, Alex Cruz missed a 32-yard field goal attempt. Wortham was flagged five yards for running into the kicker. Cruz attempted again, but from 27-yards out and made it. Wortham, however, was flagged for being offside. With 5 more yards tacked on, the Bears had the ball first down and goal at the five-yard line. Colton Clayton then ran behind C Chris Belcher untouched into the end zone to put Frost up 14-0.
Alex Cruz was seemingly everywhere for the Bears. On Wortham’s second offensive series of the second half, he picked-off a Witty Busby pass and returned it 30-yards to set the Bears offense first and goal at the Wortham 5-yard line. Three plays later, Cruz again made the play. QB Zach Terry on third and goal at the six-yard line rolled to his left and fired a pass for WR Layton Eastman with two Bulldog DBs in the vicinity. The pass glanced off Eastman’s hands, over the out-stretched hands of a defender, but was secured from hitting the ground by a diving Cruz near the back pylon. Cruz kicked the extra point to pushed the Bears lead to 21-0.
Witty Busby got the Bulldogs on the board with a 19-yard run before the end of the third quarter. Alex Cruz and Ben Thorton intercepted Busby twice in the fourth quarter for a pick-six each. Cruz returned his 25-yards, and Thorton returned his 40.
Frost 41,Wortham 12
Wortham 0 0 6 6 — 12
Frost 0 0 21 20 — 41
F – Alex Cruz 85 kickoff return (Edgar Anaya pass from Robert Worley), 11:44
F – Colton Clayton 5 run (kick missed), 5:54
F – Cruz 6 pass from Zach Terry (Cruz kick), 2:44
W – Witty Busby 19 run (run failed), 0:13
F – Cruz 22 run (Cruz kick), 10:59
F – Cruz 1 run (Cruz kick), 6:23
F – Ben Thorton 40 interception return (kick missed), 5:35
W – Jonathan Hughes 12 pass from Busby (run failed), 2:57
First Downs 18 11
Rush-Yards 44-233 28-86
Passing Yards 48 35
C-A-I 5-13-3 3-7-0
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0
Punts-avg. 3-24 3-41
Penalties-yards 8-75 5-50
Rushing – W: Witty Busby 20-96, James McClelland 8-66, Dalton Donnahoe 8-57, Kenneth Freeman 8-48, Zach Jones 1-(-15). F: Robert Worley 11-40, Colton Clayton 8-29, Alex Cruz 4-16, Ben Thorton 2-7, Joseph Frazier 1-2, Zach Terry 2-(-8).
Passing – W: Busby 5-12-48-3, Donnahoe 0-1-0-0. F: Terry 3-7-35-0.
Receiving – W: Freeman 2-21, Daniel Trantham 1-11, Jones 1-4, Jonathan Hughes 1-12. F: Cruz 2-35, Clayton 1-10.