The Healdton Bulldogs mixed in four defensive touchdowns and one touchdown on special teams to go with five offensive scores to roll past the Elmore City-Pernell Badgers 70-14 Thursday night on the road.

The Healdton Bulldogs mixed in four defensive touchdowns and one touchdown on special teams to go with five offensive scores to roll past the Elmore City-Pernell Badgers 70-14 Thursday night on the road. 

Three of the defensive touchdowns came by Senior Matt Choate who picked up three fumbles and returned them for scores. 

Denton Miller added a 26-yard pick-six interception, and Colton Pickelsimer returned one kickoff for a touchdown.

HHS improved to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in District A-3 action. 

Healdton will host Apache this Friday at Horton Field with the winner wrapping up second place in the district and the right to host a first-round playoff game. Elmore City fell to 2-6, 1-3.

Healdton put 28 points on the board in the first quarter to take command. 

Quarterback Denton Miller scored on a 2-yard run, and Colton Pickelsimer broke free and raced 79 yards for a touchdown for a 14-0 Bulldog lead. 

The Badgers got on the board on a 45-yard scoring run. 

But Healdton scored two quick touchdowns when Choate returned a 56-yard fumble for a score, and then Choate returned a second Elmore City fumble 20 yards for a score.

In the second quarter the offensive push continued as Dalton Gillian scored on a 64-yard run for a 35-6 Healdton lead. The Badgers got their final score early in the second on a 22-yard run to make it 35-14.

But Pickelsimer returned the ensuing kick-off 65 yards for the touchdown, and just before halftime Miller picked off a Elmore City pass and returned it 26 yards for a score that gave the Bulldogs a 49-14 lead at the half.

“I was proud of how my kids rebounded from the Ringling game and came out and played tough right from the start,” Healdton coach Mark Barrett said. 

“Things just seemed to go our way all night and again we scored on all three phases of the game (offense, defense, special teams).”

“Senior linebacker, Matt Choate had a career night with three defensive touchdowns,” Barrett added. 

“In my 30 years of coaching I have never seen that done.”

Healdton kept the Badgers scoreless in the second half. 

But the Bulldogs continued to put up points. Josh Harvey scored on a 5-yard run, and Miller broke free for an 85-yard touchdown run to make it 63-14. 

Late in the third Choate picked up this third fumble and returned it the distance 27 yards for a score.

The Bulldogs had 433 yards of rushing offense on 23 carries. 

Miller led the way with six carries for 132 yards with two touchdowns plus the one pick-six on defense. 

Pickelsimer had 124 yards on five carries and one touchdown, and Gillian rushed on 115 yards on four carries and one touchdown for Healdton.

“We needed a game like this to get ready for Apache,” Barrett said. “We only ran 15 plays with my first offense, but three of my running backs went over 100 yards each on those carries. Our younger kids got the opportunity to get more experience.”