East Buch stops Princeton for birth in semis

By Rhett Eisenberg Newspress Now
Posted: November 10, 2017 - 11:05 PM

Playing in weather cold enough to warrant space heaters on each side of the field, the East Buchanan Bulldogs refused to slow down.

Cozier days are on the horizons.

The Bulldogs are on their way to their first state semifinal since 2011 after they took out undefeated Princeton on Friday at East Buchanan High School 48-30.

Tristan Smith rushed for a 25-yard touchdown with 3 minutes remaining to seal the 18-point win over the Tigers.

Smith noticed space on the outside after the Bulldogs (11-2) had run the ball up the middle the three previous plays.

“I really wasn’t looking for a touchdown, but I’ll take it,” Smith said, then crediting sophomore receiver Ethan Kilgore with a huge block. “I was going to go outside, but Ethan (Kilgore) made a hell of a block outside and I cut it up.

“It was just open from there.”

Friday's win comes a week after the Tigers (12-1) defeated Class 1 defending state champion Hamilton 46-16 in the District 8 title game.

Conner Karl led all East Buchanan receivers for the second straight game. He finished with 11 catches for 134 yards. Karl has made huge strides late in the season as the Bulldogs third receiver. He hauled in eight catches for 89 yards the week before against Plattsburg in their District 7 championship game.

After throwing two interceptions in the first half, quarterback Tyler Schottel finished with five touchdown passes. He threw two in the second half and completed 32-of-42 passes.

Coach Kevin Bryan has noticed how well Schottel overcomes mistakes.

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