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Bulldogs Shine In Opener

Four possessions...four scores.

That is how the Peshtigo Bulldogs opened the 2012 season to beat Bonduel 28-7 Friday night. Most of the credit for the road win has to go to the play in the trenches, where the Bulldog offensive and defensive lines dominated the action.

“Overall I was pleased with how we played in the opener. You can’t get too high or low because there is always room for improvement. The film showed we did a lot of good things, but also things that we need to work on. Our defense played well and was working on a shutout until the very end,” coach Sam Komp said.

On the offensive side of the ball, Peshtigo totaled 278 yards on 54 plays, highlighted by a 233 yard rushing attack. The backfield trio of Derrik Maye, Levi Sanborn and Gunner Kinney used the huge openings to wear down the Bonduel defense. Maye got the call 20 times for 138 yards and 3 touchdowns, Sanborn 6-44 and Kinney 11-39.

Not needing to pass very much, Bulldog signal caller Dakota Keller connected on 3 of 7 tosses for 45 yards with all 3 balls landing in the arms of Sanborn.

“Our line play was excellent on both sides of the ball. Offensively the line dominated as we were able to run the ball very effectively. As a coach, the drive to open the third quarter was a thing of beauty, taking over 6 minutes off the clock and scoring,” Komp said. “Our backs ran hard and it was nice to get off to a good start with 4 possessions and 4 scores.”

The Peshtigo defense showcased its strength on the opening possession, blocking a fourth down punt and taking over at the Bonduel 35.

Nine plays later Peshtigo was on the scoreboard as Maye scooted in from 2 yards out. Maye carried 4 times for 8 yards while fullback Kinney softened up the middle of the defense with a pair of runs for 4 yards. The key play in the drive was a 14 yard pass from Keller to Sanborn putting the ball at the 8 yard line. Jake Jagielski split the uprights on the first of 4 kicks for a 7-0 lead (5:06).

Forcing Bonduel to punt on its second possession, the Bulldogs were recipients of some gridiron fortune as a the center snap sailed over the head of Jacob DeBauch. The end result was a first down at the Bonduel 32.

Drive number two required 4 plays to produce points and a 14-0 lead with 1:47 left in period one. Sanborn got things rolling with a 17 yard jaunt to the 15 before hauling in a 14 yard pass from Keller for a first down at the one. Keller took it from here sneaking in for the score.

A staunch defensive effort forced another Bonduel punt with Peshtigo starting at its own 32. No problem. Putting together a 10 play march, Peshtigo drove 68 yards to pry open a commanding 21-0 halftime lead. This march was strictly a ground effort as Komp saw his backs find plenty of holes to run through.

Maye shouldered the load with 5 rushes for 47yards, including a 25 yard scamper to the 2 yard line. The 170 pound senior back didn’t waste much time and made his way into the end zone on the next play, scoring with 7:45 left in the half.

Kinney added 3 runs for 10 yards and Sanborn two for 10 yards.

“We were able to play on a short field on two drives, then put together a 10 play march in the second quarter,” Komp added.

Leading by three scores, the Bulldog defense faced its stiffest challenge on the next series as Bonduel put together a 13 play drive. The march moved the ball from the 11 to the 39 before the half ended. Linebacker Kinney, Mike Vojcihoski and Sanborn came up key stops to keep the Bears out of the end zone.

Getting the ball to open the second half, Peshtigo landed an early knockout blow with an impressive 15 play drive that took 6:20 off the clock and chewed up 79 yards of real estate.

Key plays saw Sanborn snag a 17 yard completion to the Peshtigo 40, Maye used a nifty cut outside to gain 18 yards to the Bonduel 32 and later broke free on a draw for a first down at the 14 (8:30).

Following a facemask penalty that moved the ball to the 6, the Bulldogs needed 3 plays to score. Keller fumbled the snap on first down but still gained a yard, picked up a gain of 3 on second down before Kinney was stopped in his tracks at the two. The next play went to Maye, who swept right end for the score (5:40). Jagielski booted the point after for a comfortable 28-0 lead.

The Bulldogs were eying more points in the fourth quarter when freshman safety Jake Romenesko picked off a pass and returned it 16 yards. Kinney shook free on a 30 yard jaunt to the Bonduel 15 before the Bulldogs ran out of downs.

Going up against the Peshtigo reserves, Bonduel answered with its lone scoring drive of the game as Jared Staszak peeled off a 60 yard gain to set up a one yard plunge by quarterback DeBauch (1:44).

Looking ahead to the M-O Conference and home opener Thursday night at 7pm against Lena-STAA, coach Komp feels his team must continue to rely on the play of the line to be successful.

“Lena-STAA has some nice size upfront and we have to be aware of Ramirez running the ball. Going up against the single wing can be difficult at times, but our players must read their keys and not try to get away from our scheme,” Komp concluded.


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