Bulldogs give all in 12-7 defeat
By Michael Newton
The 2013 version of the MFL MarMac Bulldog football team kicked off its season Aug. 30 in Monona against the East Buchanan Pirates.
On a night more suited for a baseball game—with temps in the high 80s, and the heat in the low 90s—a new coach, Tom Oppelt, a new system, and a new attitude to not get blown out of games, greeted the Bulldog fans.
The Bulldogs received the opening kickoff, which, in a clear sign of respect for the Bulldog special teams from the East Buchanan coaches, was squib kicked to Matt Meyer, who downed the ball by accident at the 24-yard line.
The highlight of the opening drive was a Meyer 31-yard run to the Pirate 33, but a penalty and a stiff defense kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone.
The Pirates where stopped in Bulldog territory on their opening drive and punted, pinning the Bulldogs back at their own 15.
Two Meyer runs of 16 and nine yards moved the ball to the Bulldog 41. The drive stalled after a quarterback Austin Schoulte to Isaac Sauer pass on the quick slant got to the Pirate 40. However, the Bulldogs could get no farther than the Pirate 34, and a short punt to the Pirate 30 set up the first scoring drive of the game.
With 19.9 seconds left in the first quarter, the Pirates’ Kyle Decker ran out to the Pirate 44 on a big run. The quarter ended 0-0.
The Pirates’ first play of the second quarter was a Kyle Schmitt run, but he was met by Andrew Zeeh for no gain. Bulldog Chase Strub stopped the next play for a four-yard loss and, on third down, with 14 yards to go, the Bulldogs needed to stop the play. But Pirate quarterback Hunter Schulte connected with Schmitt on an 18-yard pass to the Bulldog 42. Griffin Cabalka then peeled off a 15-yard run to the Bulldog 27. Cabalka then gained two more yards, reaching the 25. On second and eight, the Bulldogs were caught off guard with a 25-yard touchdown pass by Schulte for the 6-0 lead. The Cabalka kick was low and blocked.
The Bulldogs started their next drive on their own 29 after another short kickoff.
Schoulte came out firing to Brandon Schneider on a bomb to the Pirate 38. Meyer lost three, then gained 21, reaching the Pirate 20. Another quick slant and a Strub three-yard yard run set up a Schoulte to Meyer 14-yard touchdown pass.
Schoulte’s kick made it 7-6 Bulldogs. It would stay that way until the fourth quarter.
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