The Bulldogs started the game by gaining only one yard in total offense in the first quarter, while the Dutchmen totaled 81 yards and a touchdown. The second quarter was no better for the Bulldogs as they were only able to gain 19 total yards while the Dutchmen had 72 yards and another touchdown.
At halftime, the score was Melrose 14, Paynesville 0.
To start off the second half, the Bulldogs continued having trouble moving the football, as they could only muster 21 yards in the third quarter. The Dutchmen came up with another touchdown and led 20-0.
Joe Nosbush (31) and Nic Glenz (80) combine to tackle an opposing ball carrier.
In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs finally were able to come up with some big scoring plays as Ben Bork threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Schultz to put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.
On their next possession, Bork hit Jeff Voss on a pass across the middle and Voss took it all the way for a 54-yard touchdown reception. After the two-point conversion, the Bulldogs were within six points of Melrose.
The Bulldogs last possession ended deep in their own territory when they turned the ball over on downs.
The Paynesville offense managed only 136 total yards against the tough Melrose defense, while the Dutchmen offense totaled 304 yards on the night.
This was a crucial loss for the Bulldogs, as it looks like they will need to win the last game of the year now to make the playoffs. Albany, who the Bulldogs beat earlier in the year, appears to have earned the top seed in the section.
Paynesville plays at Sauk Centre tonight at 7:30 p.m. This is a must-win game for the Bulldogs, as a loss could knock them out of the playoffs.
If the Bulldogs qualify for the playoffs, they will open play on the road on Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Mel-Santo Cruz 14 run (Josh Walzing kick);
Mel-Cruz 29 run (Walzing kick);
Mel-Cruz 21 run (kick failed);
Pay-T.J. Schultz 34 pass from Ben Bork (run failed);
Pay-Jeff Voss 54 pass from Bork (Voss pass from Bork).
Rushing (attempts-yards): Jeff Voss 11-22; Ben Bork 9-14; Joe Hiltner 4-7;
Receiving (catches-yards-TDs): T.J. Schultz 1-34-1; Voss 1-54-1; Bork 3-1;
Passing (attempts-completions-yards-TDs): Bork 2-4-88-2; Josh Roemeling 3-6-1;
Tackles (solos-assists): Shaun Fleischhacker 4-9; Joe Nosbush 5-6; Chris Sogge 5-6; Steve Flint 3-6; Scott Braun 3-2; Chris Rohe 3-2.
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