Bulldogs Get Booted 13-6
Trouble In The Trenches Results In Home Setback; End Season With 7-2 Mark
One and done!
Thats how the Division 5 playoff campaign went for the Peshtigo Bulldogs (7-2), coming up on the short end of a 13-6 loss to Spencer-Columbus Catholic Friday night.
Earning the number three seed along with an opening date at home, the Bulldogs were looking for a successful start to the post-season.
It never happened!
What they got in return was a sound beating upfront as the Rockets rode some dominating line play to the hard fought win. Peshtigo had 12 possessions in the game...4 ending in punts, 3 on interceptions, 3 on downs and a touchdown on their final drive of the game.
Their line play on both sides of the ball, especially the defensive line, controlled play the whole game. Not only were they big, but athletic as well, coach Sam Komp said. We had some scoring chances in the second half, but couldnt run the ball and do anything against their defensive line.
Relying on an explosive running attack all year, the Bulldogs managed just 165 total yards, including 25 yards rushing against that formidable front wall. Halfback Derrik Maye had nowhere to run and finished with 17 yards on 14 rushes while fullback Michael Vojcihoski needed 3 carries to gain 6 yards.
The best offense for the Bulldogs came from the right arm of junior quarterback Dakota Keller, who passed for 140 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, Keller also had some issues after seeing three of his 32 tosses get picked off by the Spencer-Columbus Catholic defense.
They kept on changing defensive coverages and we didnt recognize it. Give them credit, they played a great game, Komp added.
While the Bulldogs struggled to muster up any sort of offense, the Rockets were fueled by a 216 yard ground attack. Senior halfback Charlie Mayeux did most of the work with 28 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns. Kaleb Miller gained 49 yards on 7 attempts and Eathen Aden 23 yards on 4 rushes. Freshman quarterback Calvin Lenz directed the Rocket attack, but lost 13 yards on 8 rushes and missed on his only pass attempt.
Following Peshtigos second punt in the opening 6-plus minutes of the first quarter, the Rockets set sail for the end zone. The two-play, 38 yard march saw Miller break free for 37 yards on first down before Mayeux blasted in from a yard out at the 5:06 mark for a 7-0 lead.
Peshtigo tried to answer with a pair of long drives that ran out of downs at the Rocket 30 and 23 yard lines.
The first march, an 11 play effort, moved from the Bulldog 23 all the way to the Rocket 30. A 30 yard pass from Keller to Dakota Marino put the ball at the 29 only to see the next 4 plays lose one yard.
Forcing the Rockets to punt, Peshtigo took over at its own 40 with 11:06 remining in the first half. Stringing together 7 plays, the Bulldogs drove to the 23 before a pair of Keller passes fell incomplete.
Getting the ball to open the second half, the Rockets padded their lead 13-0 with an impressive 16 play, 75 yard scoring march that took 6:48 off the clock. Mayeux shouldered the load carrying 15 of the 16 plays as the Rockets slowly made their way down field. Mayeux ripped off a trio of 11 yard gainers then capped the drive with a one yard blast at the 5:12 mark.
They had a great drive in the third quarter and scored, which took some of the starch out of us, Komp said.
After watching a trio of third quarter drives get cut short on interceptions, the Bulldogs finally made their way to the end zone.
Linebacker Gunner Kinney set up the scoring march with a fumble recovery at the Rocket 16 with 2:46 left in the game. From there the Bulldogs used three plays to put points on the board.
Keller connected with Jake Veness for 8 yards, missed Levi Sanborn on second down before going back to Sanborn for the 8 yard scoring toss. The extra point never got off the ground as the center snap was fumbled and Peshtigo trailed 13-6 with 2:24 remaining.
Trying an onside kick, Peshtigo saw the Rockets recover and eventually run out the clock to wrap up the playoff win.
Speaking for our staff, we had a great experience with these kids this year and well certainly miss them, Komp concluded.
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