The Round Valley Elks found themselves trailing 14-0 in the final period of their road game at Safford last Friday, Oct. 9, but rallied back and had an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds.
But the Bulldogs broke up an Owen Young pass attempt for a two-point conversion to avoid overtime and defeat the Elks 14-12.
Defenses dominated for most of the game, which was scoreless at halftime.
The first score also came on defense, as Safford senior Christian Smith returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown midway in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, C.J. Scrivner, another Safford senior, scored on a 19-yard run and after making the extra point, the Bulldogs led 14-0.
Round Valley came back with a scoring drive but missed the extra point.
After recovering a Safford fumble on the next series, the Elks scored on a pass from Young to Treyson Merrill, but trailing 14-12, had to go for the two point conversion in hopes of sending the game into OT.
It was the season opener for Safford. The Bulldogs’ scheduled Oct. 2 opener against Willcox was canceled.
Round Valley (1-1) travels to Show Low tonight for the teams’ 3A East region opener at 7 p.m.