Long plays doom Bulldogs

MANCHESTER -- Through two offensive series, the Burr and Burton Academy football team was rolling. By the end of the second, freshman quarterback Griffin Stalcup had found junior Ryan Smith on a fade down the left sideline for a 25-yard touchdown.

But from there, the Lyndon Institute Vikings did not let the Bulldogs get in the end zone again. Instead, the team went on a 44-0 run to win the team's season opener 44-7 at Applejack Field in Manchester.

"We got dominated in the trenches," Bulldogs coach Jason Thomas said. "Then we ran out of gas. We would push the ball up the field, but then run out of gas and they would dig their heels in."

Stalcup, starting his first game at quarterback, did his best to keep the team moving offensively. On the game, Stalcup was 18-for-36 for 310 yards, a touchdown and an interception. But whenever the Bulldogs got inside the Vikings' 20-yard line, the offense stalled.

"That is the reflection of having so many seniors on the team," Lyndon coach Dan Nolan said. "Our seniors are to be credited, they stepped up tonight."

After the opening touchdown, the Vikings came back and responded immediately. On the ensuing kickoff, Josh Guyer took the ball 85 yards for a touchdown. The team would miss the two-point try, making it a 7-6 lead for BBA.

But the Bulldogs looked poised to take the lead back. Driving down the field again, Stalcup and running back Eric Cerra (15 carries, 66 yards) got the Bulldogs down to the Vikings' 7-yard line. But as Stalcup went to make a pass over the middle on second down, Lyndon's Dereyck Colburn tipped the pass in the air and caught it in the end zone.

It would be the first of four red zone stops the Vikings would get in the game.

Lyndon then proceeded to march the ball back down the field, with quarterback James Shufelt taking a 4-yard carry for a touchdown, making it a 12-7 game.

Again, the Bulldogs would try and respond. And again, Stalcup led the Bulldogs down the field, completing passes of 13, 30, and 6 yards to bring the ball inside the 3-yard line. But on fourth-and-goal, Stalcup was stuffed on a keeper run, giving Lyndon the ball back.

The Vikings would score on the next possession, with Devon Switser breaking open an option toss for an 83-yard scamper and a score. The Vikings would have one last shot to score before the half, but the Bulldogs were able to dig in on second-and-goal with a handful of seconds remaining, keeping it a 20-7 game at half.

"In the second quarter, we had a red zone stop and an INT in the end zone," Nolan said. "This would be a different game if they converted those."

In the second half, it was all Vikings.

The team took the opening drive 60 yards for a score, making it a 28-7 game. The Vikings would add two more scores in the fourth to give the game the 44-7 score line.

While the loss leaves the Bulldogs in search of answers ahead of next week's game against Spaulding, Thomas was pleased with the play of his quarterback and his other quarterback, who lined up at wide receiver.

"[Stalcup] is a freshman, so I expected some mistakes," Thomas said."But he has been going to the right people, he is making the right decisions, and he took care of the ball. Ryan had an injured thumb, so we moved him to wide out and he had a good game tonight."

The Bulldogs return to Applejack next Friday for a showdown with Spaulding.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions