78 combined points later, Bulldogs come up short in a wild one
For the second straight week, the AlWood-ROWVA football team was forced to play catch-up against a state-ranked team.
And for the second straight time, the Bulldogs came up just short, falling to United 44-35 in A&R’s homecoming game Friday in Woodhull.
“I think my play sheet’s worn out,” said A&R coach Taul Noard. “They saw everything we had.”
As was the case in the previous week’s 32-26 loss to Stark County, the Bulldogs trailed early and couldn’t fully recover in dropping their fourth straight game.
“We got down 16-0 and from there, it was an uphill climb,” Noard said. “United has a very solid offense and they were able to grind us out.”
The Class 1A ninth-ranked Red Storm (5-1, 3-1 in the West Prairie-Northwest) rushed for 420 yards in the game. Adam Olin paced the ground attack with 154 yards and four touchdowns. He had scoring runs of 2, 1 and 8 yards and also caught a 12-yard TD pass.
The Bulldogs were able to pull to within 16-14 by the intermission on a 85-yard kickoff return by Cameron Teel and an 11-yard TD catch by Kyle Leathers from quarterback Kenny Fogerty.
A&R got the ball to start the third quarter but back-up quarterback Leathers, who had replaced Fogerty at the start of the half, fumbled and United recovered at the Bulldogs’ 30. The Red Storm went on to score for a 21-14 edge.
Fogerty was on the sideline at the start of the second half because he had his ankle wrapped at the intermission and left his helmet where the Bulldogs had met for halftime.
“I’m not afraid to have (Leathers) in there at any time, but to have him come in there cold is a bit too much to ask from him,” Noard said. “It was a big play for United and gave them back the momentum.”
The Bulldogs answered with a 72-yard TD on a Fogerty-to-Teel throwback screen to make it 24-21, but the Red Storm scored the next two TDs to stretch their lead to 38-21.
A&R’s final two scores came on a 5-yard run by Fogerty and a 12-yard run by Matt Carlson.
Fogerty completed 10-of-16 for 194 yards. He also rushed for 53 yards on seven attempts. Carlson was the Bulldogs’ leading rusher with 63 yards on two attempts.
“I’ve been proud of our kids the last two games,” Noard said. “We have gone toe-to-toe with them and have been right there at the end. The players have battled to the end.”
The Bulldogs (2-4, 0-4) host West Central on Friday night in Woodhull.
Aaron Frey of Gatehouse News Service contributed to this report.