A&R nearly trips state-ranked Rebels

Doug Boock

The AlWood-ROWVA football team won the battle, but lost the war against Stark County – the state’s seventh-ranked Class 1A team – Friday night in Wyoming.

Playing without coach Taul Noard, who was serving a one-game suspension for collecting two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties the previous week, the Bulldogs actually outgained the Rebels 346-255, but came up short on the scoreboard, 32-26.

The Rebels are coached by Taul’s brother, Jade Noard. Taul Noard spent the night at home.

The loss was the third in a row for the Bulldogs, who won two straight to open the season.

“We knew going into the game, they (Stark County) were going to be one of the best teams we played all season, and we were going to have to play up. Hopefully, we sent a message that we’re not a terrible team,” Taul Noard added, “and we’re a team to be reckoned with down the stretch – if our kids know their roles and we play together.”

A 61-yard touchdown run by Luke Brandt gave A&R a 7-6 lead with :27 left in the first quarter.

Stark County had the next three touchdowns for a 25-7 lead nearly midway through the third quarter.

Matt Carlson’s 4-yard TD run brought the Bulldogs to within 25-13, but a 6-yard scoring run by Aaron Nunez at the 6:36 mark in the fourth quarter proved to be the margin of victory for the Rebels.

The Bulldogs made it interesting down the stretch with two touchdowns – a 49-yard pass play to Carlson from Kenny Fogerty and a 1-yard plunge by Brandt.

Brandt  finished with a game-high 104 yards on eight carries. Fogerty was 7-of-16 passing for 106 yards and also had an interception on defense.

“I think the 26 points shows how our offense is shaping up,” Noard said. “Let’s hope our kids take it and run with it.”

The Bulldogs will host United for homecoming Friday in Woodhull.