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|Paynesville Press - October 31, 2001|
Top-rated Albany ends Dogs' football season
The Paynesville Bulldogs football team rallied to beat Staples-Motley in the first round of the sectional play on Tuesday, Oct. 23, recording the team's sixth win of the season, but the Dogs ended their season at Albany on Saturday night, losing to the top-seeded, state-rated Huskies.|
Josh Trees had eight carries for 39 years against Albany in the Bulldogs' final game.
The Bulldogs came from behind and defeated the Staples-Motley Cardinals in the first round of the section playoffs by a score of 15-12.
The fifth-seeded Bulldogs started out a little rusty from the long bus ride to Staples, as they committed two turnovers in the first quarter. Both were costly, coming with the Bulldogs inside the Cardinals' 30-yard line.
The first came on a fourth-down pass play as the Bulldogs' Josh Kampsen attempted a halfback pass to end Steve Mages, but it was intercepted on the Cardinal 20-yard line. The Dogs' next trip into Staples territory ended when running back Milan Virant fumbled the ball at the Cardinal 20-yard line.
The Bulldog defense kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard for the first quarter, which ended in a scoreless tie.
In the second quarter, the Paynesville offense struggled again with mistakes as penalties and another turnover kept them off the scoreboard. The Bulldogs were intercepted again deep in Cardinal territory, as quarterback Chris Fuchs threw a pass towards Mages but a Cardinal safety stepped in front of the pass and caught it on their 15-yard line.
The Cardinals took the lead when they scored on a three-yard run with two minutes left in the half. This was the only score of the quarter, so the Bulldogs went into halftime trailing by a score of 6-0.
The Paynesville offense came out in the third quarter and scored on a 13-play, 65-yard drive. The drive was capped by a great 20-yard run by Fuchs. Fuchs took a quarterback sneak on a fourth and short play and bounced off three different defenders to score standing up.
The Bulldogs were penalized on the extra point kick, but Josh Kampsen came through for the Bulldogs as he made the extra point by inches to give the Dogs a 7-6 lead.
The lead was short-lived, as the Cardinals responded with a 42-yard pass play that set up a one-yard touchdown run to retake the lead 12-7. The Cardinals went for a two-point conversion, but senior strong safety Nic Glenz came up with a huge play by tackling the Cardinal ball carrier on the one-yard line to keep the score at 12-7.
The fourth quarter may have been the most exciting quarter of football the Bulldogs played all season.
The defense came up with a big stop on third down to force the Cardinals to punt to the Bulldogs and give the Dogs one last chance to go for the win. The Bulldogs were determined to go home with a win and put together an unbelievable game winning drive.
The game-winning drive started on the Dogs' 41-yard line. After a couple of running plays and a motion penalty, Fuchs hit Glenz on an eight-yard pass completion on third down, which left the Bulldogs needing three yards on fourth down. Fuchs found Glenz again, this time for a 16-yard gain that brought the Bulldogs down to the Staples' 26-yard line.
The Bulldogs again seemed to be in trouble three plays later, as they needed ten yards on fourth down. Fuchs again came up with a great play, as he hit senior tight end Max Meagher for a 22-yard completion and a first down at the Cardinals' four-yard line.
The Bulldogs were penalized for motion again but Virant was not to be denied two plays later, as he went over the goal line from three yards out with 1:10 left on the clock. Virant then converted the two-point conversion on a run behind right tackle Aaron Lang to give the Bulldogs a 15-12 lead.
Staples took the ensuing kickoff and drove to the Bulldogs' 35-yard line, raising spectors of the Dogs' last-second loss at Montevideo, but the Cardinals ran out of time in their comeback attempt.
Albany 54, Paynesville 6
The Huskies took control from the start, completely dominating the action. They scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The Dogs didn't help themselves, as they lost a fumble deep in their territory and also had a 12-yard punt to set up scores for Albany.
The Bulldogs showed some life toward the end of the first quarter as they strung together a 75-yard drive. Quarterback Chris Fuchs scored on a one-yard sneak to finish the drive and put the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs seemed to have found some life by cutting the deficit to 21-6.
It did not last long. The Huskies scored on their next play from scrimmage on a 75-yard halfback pass for a touchdown.
The Huskies continued to dominate the Bulldogs in the second quarter, as they held the Paynesville offense to just 31 yards while racking up 115 yards. The Huskies scored two more touchdowns in the quarter and led at the half 41-6.
The Dogs seemed to be trying too hard to get back into the game in the third quarter as they took some careless penalties that stopped them whenever they did run a good play.
The Huskies didn't miss a beat as they scored two more touchdowns to increase their lead to 54-6. The Huskies again could not be stopped by the Bulldogs defense as they ran for 156 yards in the quarter.
The Bulldogs kept the ball on the ground against Albany's reserves in the fourth quarter and ran out the clock. For the game, the Huskies rushed for 365 yards, averaging eight yards per rush. They also completed all three of their pass attempts for two touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
The Huskies advance to face Melrose this Friday in the section final.
The Bulldogs ended their season with a record of 6-4, which is the team's best record in six years. The Bulldogs played hard all season and provided their fans with some exciting games all season.
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