Irish scored on two INT returns, kickoff

With only one nonconference game under its belt, the Culver High School football team lost to Waldport, 38-28, in its Tri-River Conference opener Friday in Culver.

Culver head coach Shea Little said three big plays spelled out the difference for the Bulldogs, who he said played a pretty good game despite having just played once all season.

"We had a break down on a couple things, but overall we played well, just came up a little short," Little said. "We should be sitting at 2-0 right now, and the kids know it."

Two interceptions returned for touchdowns, plus a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Waldport were the three plays Little referenced.

Waldport's Caleb Bullock scored four times, including the kick return and one of the two interception returns for touchdowns.

Culver was in the red zone, inside the opponent's 20-yard line, and was looking to add to its 14-12 lead in the third quarter, but then Bullock stepped in front of a pass and took it 83 yards the other way to give Waldport the lead.

Culver scored twice in each of the second and third quarters, but statistics and a scoring summary were unavailable by the Pioneer's press deadline.

Little said Culver executed screen passes very well, which fed off the success Culver had running the ball.

"We were able to work in some play-action passing routes, too, and we were fairly successful there, too," Little said. "We opened it up the second half with our screen plays."

Coming off the tough loss, Little was pleased with how well the team practiced Monday to start preparing for this week's opponent – the Vernonia Loggers.

"The kids have no quit in them and they are committed to playing football," Little said. "The coaches were curious to see how they were going to come out, and we had one of the best practices we've had all year."

Culver will be outsized against the Loggers, like they are against most teams Little said, but Little feels his team is more athletic than Vernonia and can take advantage of that.

"I think we can expose Vernonia by getting to the perimeter," Little said. "They are pretty big up front, but we should be in better shape and open up our passing game."

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