By Travis Smola
After a devastating blowout loss to Edwardsburg last week, the Vicksburg Bulldogs football team needed a confidence boost. They got it in a 45-6 thrashing of the Allegan Tigers.
“I thought we played well all around,” head coach Tom Marchese said.
The Bulldogs started things off with a bang after senior quarterback Brenden Lovell hit senior receiver Deondre Lovell along the left sideline. Deondre was able to break free of a defender and coast into the end zone.
After a couple of drives by both teams went nowhere, Allegan was forced again to punt on a 4th and 5. Senior Blake Rankin took the punt and broke it down the right side for a 60 yard plus touchdown return.
On the next possession from the Tigers, Vicksburg forced another punt and they punted it to Rankin again. Again, he took the ball deep into Allegan territory before being brought down around the 5. But a block in the back penalty wiped the play out.
On the ball all evening was sophomore Joe Brady, who nailed a huge 39 yard field goal to make the score 17-0 about halfway through the second. “Joe did a really good job,” Marchese said. Brady almost had a chance at another field goal late in the second, but the Bulldogs failed to get into range. Brady did nail every extra point attempt handed to him all evening.
It wasn’t all rosy for the Bulldogs. Uncharacteristic penalties probably kept some points off the scoreboard and forced Marchese to call timeout at one point just to calm the team down.
Due to an ankle injury to junior running back Garrett Ketelaar, other players were forced to step up their game. Junior running back DJ Bullock and senior running back Caleb Kropp answered the call. Bullock scored on a powerhouse 12 yard run near the end of the first half.
Kropp broke off his own huge 45 yard touchdown run on Vicksburg’s first drive of the second half. Both Bullock and Kropp answered the call on defense as well. Both players were consistently in the backfield harassing and helping bring down Allegan’s quarterback and running backs.
After Vicksburg went up 38-0, the Bulldogs were able to get some other players some valuable game time. Junior running back Logan Alleshouse put up the final Bulldogs touchdown on a one yard scoring run.
Vicksburg goes on the road for their next couple games against Plainwell next week and Sturgis the week after before finishing up September at homecoming against Otsego.