By Travis Smola
Vicksburg’s varsity football team picked up its fifth win of the season in a rainy and cold 27-7 contest against Otsego on home turf Friday, September 30.
The Vicksburg defense seems to be playing with something of a chip on its shoulder ever since the team’s only loss against Edwardsburg back in a 44-7 blowout in game two. Since then, the Bulldogs have allowed just 21 points. And they seem to be getting better every game.
The boys have been putting extra effort into film study and it shows as they stymied play after play in the Otsego backfield. Linebacker Caleb Kropp had multiple sacks. Fellow linebacker Joshua Holmes also continually found gaps to make plays.
Still, the Bulldogs were a little frustrated when a few encroachment penalties gave Otsego easy yards and a few false starts had Vicksburg going the wrong way on offense at times. Still, it was an improvement on the near-unbelievable 16 penalties the Bulldogs racked up in a 26-0 shutout win the week prior. “We’re better tonight, but still not what we want,” Marchese said.
Not that all was bad with the Vicksburg offense. After not being able to get things going the first few couple of drives, the Bulldogs finally put together a nice drive after senior Blake Rankin returned a punt over midfield into Otsego territory.
Five plays later, the “Lovell to Lovell” connection came through when senior quarterback Brenden Lovell hit senior receiver Deondre Lovell on a beautiful 18 yard slant for the game’s opening score.
After an Otsego three-and-out, Vicksburg gained great field position from a bad punt to midfield. Eight plays later, Rankin found himself in a rare single coverage situation and Lovell hit him in stride on a near-identical slant to the earlier Lovell to Lovell play for the game’s second touchdown.