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Dogs’ Defense Grounds Eagles

By Brett Barnes

West Milton, OH – Head Coach Bret Pearce talked openly about the hurt that his team felt after last week’s one point home loss to rival Tipp City. “The loss to Tipp hurt, but we had a great week of practice, and these boys know there is plenty of football to be played.”  Add the loss of standout blocker and linebacker Tyler Brown (ankle), and even the biggest Bulldog fan wondered just how resilient this team would be against a
Bellbrook team that has had the Bulldogs’ number over the past several seasons.

It took one play to find out.

Bellbrook running back Steve Rasso carried the football seven yards, fumbled, and Cole Pennington recovered for M-U setting the tone for the entire evening.   When all was said and done, Bellbrook had turned the football over four more times, and the Milton-Union Bulldogs had answered all the questions winning the game 17-3.

Following that opening drive fumble, M-U moved the ball just 18 yards, but Nick Fields easily converted the 36-yard field goal giving the Bulldogs an early 3-0 lead.

Play slowed to a virtual halt as both teams found offense nearly impossible.  However, a 51-yard run by quarterback P.J. Eckley to the Bulldogs’ 8-yard line led Bellbrook to a Joe Licher  game-tying 21-yard field goal with 5:36 left in the half.

Following a Milton-Union punt, a Bellbrook possession ended with another punt.  At 1:27, M-U had the football first and ten at their own 43-yard line.  Bellbrook had a personnel problem and called timeout, and Coach Pearce put the timeout to good use.  “We knew we could hurt them with some big plays.  Big plays give you a great shot at winning.” The first play after the timeout, Cody Hollon hit Jason Antonides with a quick 7-yard pass.  Just as Antonides was hit in the back, he pitched the ball perfectly to a streaking Jake Finfrock, who had come from the backfield, and Finfrock streaked untouched down an exploding home sideline.  Fields drilled the extra point, and at the half M-U led 10-3.

Following a Bulldog punt to start the third quarter, the Eagles had the ball for all of two plays before fumbling again.  This time the ball was recovered by Jesse Simpson giving the Bulldogs the football at the Bellbrook 34-yard line.  Two plays later, Clay Minton powered six yards for the touchdown, and following the Field’s extra point, M-U led 17-3.

Bellbrook’s final four possessions of the football game ended with another fumble this time recovered by Jason Antonides, an interception by Jake Finfrock,  a turnover on downs, and a final interception by David Karns.  Overall, the Bulldogs had 211 total yards compared to Bellbrook’s 238.

Coach Pearce stated, “The key tonight [was] winning the special teams battle.  We’ve seen the difference it makes when we outplay a team in that area (Oakwood), and when we don’t (Tipp).”

The Bulldogs (3-1) open league play on the road next Friday night when they travel to Madison to face the Mohawks.  Bellbrook fell to 1-3.

 

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Tipp News
Mike McDermott is publisher of several web news properties, including this one. Long time resident, and local business owner, Mike McDermott lives in the downtown and fiercely defends Tipp City's honor at home and abroad.
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