There’s a reason only one game in the last 20 have been able to beat the Pretty Prairie Bulldogs.


Their only loss came in the Eight-man Division-I title game last season, and in the current season, they haven’t even been close to losing a game.


Friday night at Skyline was no different, with the Bulldogs (8-0) jumping out to a 24-0 lead, before ending the half up 50-0 on the T-Birds, with the game officially ending at halftime.


There’s a reason only one game in the last 20 have been able to beat the Pretty Prairie Bulldogs.

Their only loss came in the Eight-man Division-I title game last season, and in the current season, they haven’t even been close to losing a game.

Friday night at Skyline was no different, with the Bulldogs (8-0) jumping out to a 24-0 lead, before ending the half up 50-0 on the T-Birds, with the game officially ending at halftime.

The second half ran a continuous clock that featured both teams’ JV squads.

While the score didn’t show it, the game wasn’t totally one-sided. On the Bulldogs’ second possession, the T-Birds buckled down defensively, getting the ball back after an incomplete pass on fourth and 8. However, Skyline wasn’t able to move the ball particularly well, getting a first down on a fake punt before surrendering the ball on downs four plays later. One thing Pretty Prairie was nearly flawless on was capitalizing on Skyline’s mistakes.

“We knew it was going to be tough and we were going to have to limit our mistakes, and that didn’t happen tonight,” said head coach Jon Novotny. “Good teams, they capitalize on those mistakes, and Pretty Prairie definitely did that. We moved the ball a little bit, here and there, we just couldn’t sustain anything. We didn’t have any consistency tonight. We were hit and miss on some things. But I had a lot of kids that really fought hard out there tonight.”

The T-Birds kept fighting all night, even after several disappointments. Trailing 24-0, Skyline got a big play on fourth and 9, with quarterback Brandon Broce connecting with Easton Burgardt for a 28-yard pass play that set up first and goal from the 2-yard line. Unfortunately, the Skyline offense struggled from there, even getting another set of tries due to a Pretty Prairie pass interference penalty. The stout Bulldog defense held for eight consecutive plays before taking the ball on downs and scoring in one play, a 65-yard touchdown run that deflated the T-Birds’ momentum.

“We caught them in a couple things, we just couldn’t finish them off,” he said. “If we get a couple scores off of those, that’s going to build us some confidence and we’re going to keep building from there. But, it’s a credit to their defense. Even after they gave up the big play, they buckled down and kept us out of the end zone. They’re going to win a lot more ball games. So we’ve just got to use this as motivation and understand that if we ever want to get to that point, we’ve got to continue to work and be able to handle some of these big game pressures.”

Coming into the game, Novotny tried to keep the pressure off his kids, knowing the caliber of team on the other side of the field. Winning this game was the only chance the T-Birds had at a playoff spot, and with the loss, they’ll be playing for pride next week at Macksville. After all was said and done, he was happy with the way his team competed, despite the score.

“We did some things well,” he said. “Offensively, we moved the ball. Defensively, we were in position on a lot of these plays, we just didn’t make tackles. That’s kind of been an Achilles heel for us all year. So that’s something I’ve got to do a better job of from the beginning of the year, focusing on tackling, teaching better fundamentals and really making that an important part of every practice. If you’ve got a runner that big and strong, you can’t miss.”