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|Paynesville Press - September 18, 2002|
State-rated Albany thrashes Dogs, 61-0
Going into Friday's game at state-ranked Albany, the Bulldogs football team knew they couldn't fall behind early. "When teams play Albany, they get too nervous and before they know it, they're down by a couple touchdowns," said sophomore Justin Butkofski. |
But, much to the dismay of Butkofski and the rest of the Dogs, that's exactly what happened.
Right from the start things were not pretty for the Dogs as Albany returned the opening kick 45 yards to the Bulldogs' 42-yard line. The Dogs stopped the Huskies on the game's first two plays before giving up a 14-yard run to Albany's Curt Grabmeier on third down. Three plays later, fullback Aaron Blackmore ran into the endzone from 20 yards out, and the Huskies claimed an early lead.
The Huskies - rated #2 in the state in Class AAA - proceeded to score 14 points in the first quarter, 28 in the second, 13 in the third, and six in the fourth to win the nonconference game 61-0.
The Dogs used a new offense against Albany, trying to catch the Huskies off guard. Senior end Josh Krupke moved to quarterback, while senior halfback/quarterback Kevin Mehr moved to slot receiver. But the Huskies wouldn't be fooled, and the Dogs' offense gained a season-low 109 yards of total offense, while the Huskies gained 555 yards.
The Dogs were manhandled by Albany, as they couldn't get anything going on offense and they couldn't stop the Huskies on defense.
"Their lineman get down field so fast, and their backfield carries out their fakes so well that you tackle a guy thinking you made a good play, and then you get up and see their other running back 50 yards downfield," said senior defensive end Ryan Wendlandt.
If there was a bright spot for the Bulldogs, it was the play of sophomore running back Eric Hansen. With the game out of reach in the fourth quarter, Hansen rushed for 25 yards on five carries. After the game, coach Kyle Nehowig said, "I know they're a good football team, but we can't just let them score at will. We have to be able to read plays on defense and wrap up when we tackle. Tonight showed just how far this team has to go to compete with the likes of Albany. On Monday we have to practice hard and move on to the next game."
The Bulldogs' next game will be on Friday night, when the Dogs play host to the Thunderhawks of Montevideo. The Bulldog Booster Club will be holding a pregame tailgate party by the concession stand, starting at 6:45 p.m. The game will start at 7:30 p.m.
It will be the first of five straight conference games for the Dogs, now 1-2. The Dogs need a win to have a shot at winning the conference title.
Senior quarterback Chris Fuchs is still day-to-day with a broken finger suffered against NL-S. If he can't play, Mehr and Krupke will remain at quarterback.
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