By Sue Moore
“We played a sloppy game. We missed a lot of chances on offense but our defense was really good,” said Coach Tom Marchese in describing Vicksburg Bulldogs 26 – 0 win over Sturgis in their stadium on Friday, Sept. 23. “It’s still a win but I’m not satisfied. We want the kids to play to perfection. We will need to tighten up, play a cleaner game in order to beat Otsego for Homecoming next week.”
The Bulldogs got things rolling in the first quarter when Caleb Kropp scored with 2:35 left in the first quarter. The PAT was good by Joe Brady. Deondre Lovell got rolling with a pass catch on his own 30 yard line, eluded a bevy of Sturgis tacklers and running the field for the second TD with 5:17 remaining in the first half with the PAT good. When Vicksburg got the ball back with about three minutes to go in the half, they marched down the field with what looked like another touchdown drive. Bad clock management left Brandon Lovell with the only option to loft a pass to Deondre Lovell in the end zone with time running out, only to have Sturgis intercept it and the score remain 14 – 0.
The second half looked like it would be a repeat of the same with Vicksburg’s defense putting Sturgis deep in their own territory each possession. Garrett Ketelaar took the kickoff and returned it to the 44 yard line, only to have the run called back on a penalty. He later intercepted a Sturgis pass on the 50 and ran it in for an apparent TD. It was called back because of a block in the back. Things just kept going backward with an interception and a fumble giving the ball to Sturgis both times but they couldn’t capitalize. The third quarter ended in a stalemate.
Adam Grabowski pulled down an interception and went in to score for the Bulldogs, making it 20 – 0 in the fourth quarter, before penalties again plagued the offense. Then Ketelaar took a handoff from Lovell, eluded tacklers to score from 28 yards out. A delay of game penalty on the try for two points on the conversion, moved the ball back five yards and a pass to Adam Henderson was dropped, making the final score 26 – 0.