Ryan Numberger, Contributor
AMANDA — In one of the more anticipated matchups of the year, one team showed out to remain undefeated.
That team would be, and by unanimous decision, the Bloom-Carroll Bulldogs.
In a heavyweight matchup of two Mid-State League foes, the Bulldogs hit hard early and often en route to a 34-7 road win over Amanda-Clearcreek.
The game did not disappoint early on as it was a defensive slugfest that was highlighted by six straight punts — three by each team to open the game.
That trend continued throughout the first quarter. Neither team even moved the chains in a 0-0 deadlock into the second frame.
It would be early in the second before the first instance of a first down took place. But when it did, the Bulldogs (5-0, 1-0 MSL) rode that momentum in a big way.
A four-play, 64-yard drive ended when Chase Plantz scored on a massive 40-yard rush to give Bloom-Carroll a 7-0 lead with 10:47 left in the first half.
However, that offensive explosion would be short-lived as the next three combined possessions resulted in punts.
On the Bulldogs’ sixth drive of the night, they broke through again.
KJ Benedict and Branyon Dodds combined to beat the Aces’ defense, hooking up for a two-yard touchdown pass to give BC a 14-0 advantage with 2:05 left.
That score was a sign of things to come in the second half.
After halftime, the Bulldogs wasted little time in making it a 20-0 tally — a blocked PAT. With 8:04 left, Clay Dozer reached the end zone from seven yards out, capping a 35-yard scoring drive.
After forcing a punt, Bloom-Carroll scored again with 5:50 remaining in the third when Benedict found Dodds for a second time, this time from 56 yards out, making it a 27-0 ballgame and effectively providing the dagger.
The lead would swell to 34-0 at the 1:59 mark in the third when Benedict and Dodds hooked up for a third time, putting a running clock into effect.
The Aces (3-2, 0-1 MSL) scored their only touchdown of the night with just 1:54 left on the game clock. That’s courtesy of Nate Hunter, who scored from 25 yards out to curb the shutout.
That would be the final score of a dominating performance from Bloom-Carroll, which continues to solidify itself as a bonafide state title contender.
Benedict finished 15-of-19 passing for 158 yards and three touchdowns while Dodds caught seven passes for 129 yards and three scores. Plantz led the Bulldogs in rushing with six carries for 98 yards and score while Dylan Armentrout added 72 yards rushing on 11 carries to the mix.
As for the Aces, Hunter was 9-of-21 passing for 67 yards alongside 33 rushing yards and a score. Tayvon Miller added 33 receiving yards on three catches.
Bloom-Carroll now gets ready to host Liberty Union while Amanda-Clearcreek looks to get back on track at Circleville.
|15-19, 158 yards||Passing||10-25, 72 yards|
|32 rushes, 239 yards||Rushing||20 rushes, 45 yards|
|6 – 45 yards||Penalties||3 – 25 yards|