Bulldogs slip away from playoff hopes after a heartbreaking homecoming loss

MAHOMET — Mahomet-Seymour watched its playoff hopes slip away as Effingham rolled the Bulldogs 64-28 on Friday.

It was a disappointing homecoming as Effingham blitzed M-S with a 28-0 run and cruised to its fourth straight win.

A 1-yard TD plunge by Dawson Finch gave M-S a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter as the Bulldogs capitalized on a muffed punt. The M-S defense had held strong and got the ball back to the offense, and the game was nearly decided early in that second quarter.

M-S had fourth and inches at the Effingham 45-yard line. Finch was lined up deep to punt, but he faked the punt and threw deep toward sophomore star Clay Hubble. The ball was just out of Hubble's reach, and Effingham gained possession.

On the very next play, Effingham's 6-foot-5 senior quarterback Landon Wolfe hooked up with his favorite target, Tristin Duncan on a 55-yard touchdown pass as the Flaming Hearts retook the lead for good.

Kendall Ballman gave the Bulldogs' defense fits all night long. Ballman's 10-yard run gave Effingham a 20-7 lead, and he extended Effingham's 27-7 halftime lead with a 15-yard run just 52 seconds into the second half. Ballman then added a 71-yard touchdown reception on a screen pass and an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

"Pound for pound, he's as good of a football player that I've ever coached," Effingham coach Brett Hefner said. "Offense, defense, special teams, it doesn't matter. Heck of a night for him."

Finch finished 6-of-23 for 100 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception that was returned for a touchdown by Effingham junior Luke Spencer.

Mahomet-Seymour's Jordan Veldman rushed 22 times for 112 yards and one touchdown.

Veldman added three catches for 72 yards and another touchdown as the Bulldogs scored 21 points in the second half.

Hubble had 10 carries for 67 yards. Dylan Gates had two receptions for 17 yards, and Connor Thomason had one catch for 11 yards.

Effingham's 64 points was a school-record as Wolfe finished with 251 passing yards and three touchdowns and one interception.

Ballman rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He added two receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. Add in his kickoff return for a touchdown, and Ballman finished with four total touchdowns.

Duncan hauled in three receptions for 81 yards and a score. Nathan Shackelford had a team-high four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Daunte Roberts led the M-S defense with nine tackles. Hunter Berg added eight stops, including one tackle for a loss. Zach Travis had a couple quarterback hurries and six total tackles.

M-S dropped to 1-5 on the season, and it will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2015. It will only be the second time in M-S head coach Keith Pogue's 11-year career that the Bulldogs have missed the playoffs.

M-S will look to get right tonight on the road against Mount Zion. The Braves are 4-2 this season with a 2-2 record in the Apollo Conference.

Mount Zion lost to Mattoon 15-14 last week. Mattoon has defeated Mount Zion and M-S in consecutive weeks by a total of three points.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports

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