With less than 2 minutes remaining in the game, the Buccaneers’ offense mounted one final charge against the Bulldogs. Down by down, the Buccaneers advanced the ball until they got all the way inside Bolles’ 5-yard line.
However, a personal foul backed the Buccaneers up 15 yards. Their last-ditch attempt at a touchdown was a lofted pass into the left corner of the end zone. It was broken up by a Bulldogs’ defensive back.
Mainland (6-4) lost to Bolles 21-10 on the Buccaneers’ senior night on Friday, Nov. 1, at Daytona Stadium.
“They’re were the better program tonight,” Mainland coach Scott Wilson said of the Bulldogs. “The defense stepped up. But we didn’t finish offensively, and we’ve got to be able to do that.”
The Buccaneers drove into the red zone on their first possession of the game but missed a field goal — the first of three missed field goal attempts on the night.
Bolles scored the first touchdown of the night on a 1-yard run on fourth-and-goal with 4:31 to play in the first quarter. The Bulldogs blocked a Mainland punt and recovered it in the end zone to go up 14-0 with 5:08 to play in the first half.
The Bulldogs scored their final touchdown after their running back slipped a tackle in the backfield and ran 30 yards to the end zone with 10:46 left in regulation.
Mainland responded with its first touchdown of the night on a touchdown grab from receiver T.J. Lockley to make the score 21-10.
What does Wilson want to see his team cleanup going forward?
Penalties and red zone offense — both of which were major problems against Bolles.
“We’re making a lot of mistakes right now,” Buccaneers quarterback Taron Keith added. “We have to fix them.”
Despite the loss, the Buccaneers, who defeated rival Seabreeze 44-0 on Oct. 25, are champions of their district, which guarantees them a spot in the 2019 FHSAA State Playoffs.
The Buccaneers won’t change how they prepare, Wilson said. And if anything, the loss has made them more ready to take on what's to come in the postseason.
Mainland faces Booker T. Washington at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at Daytona Stadium in Round 1 of the playoffs.
“In the playoffs, anything can happen," Wilson said. “I think it’s going to make us a little hungrier and more humble. We know that we have things to work on.”