By Kelsie Hoitomt
BOYCEVILLE – The Bulldogs had a tough game against the Mondovi Buffaloes on Friday, September 7 as they lost 18-8.
The Buffalo running game was constantly strong on the field with senior Nick Van Vleet rushing for 140 yards and scoring one of the three touchdowns.
The game itself was plagued with several flags on both sides of the ball. In the first drive, the Bulldogs lost five yards to an illegal procedure call, which brought up third down and then a forced punt on fourth down.
After receiving the ball, Mondovi had an offsides flag and then a fumble on their first drive, which forced them to punt as well.
The first quarter continued as a back and fourth battle between the two teams. The whistle blew for the second quarter with the Bulldogs on their own 21 yard line.
A pass was completed from quarterback Matt Leach to Will Kraft for a six yard gain.
An official time out was called for a measurement, but the ball came up short for fourth down and one yard to go.
The Bulldogs went for it on forth down with Leach taking the ball himself, but again they came up short and the Buffaloes had the ball on the Bulldog 33 yard line.
Mondovi quarterback AJ Risler sent the ball flying on second down and connected with Ian Scott for a 33 yard touchdown.
There was an illegal procedure on the two-point conversion play, but the Buffaloes were still on the scoreboard 6-0 with 8:53 left in the half.
The Bulldogs started their drive on the Buffalo 34 yard line. Kraft ran the ball for nine yards on three downs, but another illegal procedure call cost them five yards.
The lost yardage was quickly made up for with a pass from Matt Leach to Mitch Leach for a gain of six yards. The ball was then handed off to Kraft who broke through the middle for a 17 yard play to put the ball on the 22 yard line.
Leach again set up for a pass, but the ball was fumbled by the receiver and recovered by Mondovi.
The Bulldog defense was able to hold the Buffaloes and force them to punt with 2:45 left in the half.
With the clock ticking down, the Bulldogs appeared rushed on the drive and the pass was intercepted by the Buffaloes Colter Dziekan.
With the ball on the Boyceville 15 yard line, a pass was completed to TJ Mclean for 16 yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was successful and with 39 seconds left on the clock the Buffaloes now led 12-0.
Mondovi received the kick off after halftime. It was fourth down with four yards to go and the Buffalo set up for punt, but they decided to throw off the Bulldogs with a punt fake to Erich Wolfe for a ten yard gain.
Two flags against the Buffaloes and an incomplete pass on fourth down would put the Bulldogs on their own 29 yard line.
Soon it would be fourth down with just two yards to go. Again, Matt Leach would set himself up for the run attempt, but was shut down by the Mondovi defense.
The following Boyceville drive looked strong and the team was moving quickly up the field after starting on their own six yard line.
The ball was handed off to Zach Klassen who ran for 24 yards. The ball was quickly snapped and sent sailing to Josh Cormican who managed to step over and break through a few blocks for an 18 yard carry.
With the ball near the line of scrimmage, the Bulldogs were at fourth down with just four yards to go. Leach took the snap and ran back for a pass, but wasn’t able to find any open receivers before he was sacked.
Mondovi would get the ball on the 36 yard line to start the fourth quarter. Two illegal procedure penalties would bring them back to the 46 yard line.
A pass interference penalty against the Bulldogs on third down quickly moved Mondovi to the Boyceville 25 yard line.
The ball was again handed off to Van Vleet for a gain of 19, which put the Buffaloes on the six yard line.
A run by Dziekan for a gain of five placed the ball at the goal line, but a neutral zone infraction moved the Buffaloes back five yards to the six yard line again.
The Bulldogs were unable to stop the run by Van Vleet as he scored the Buffaloes third touchdown of the night to make the score 18-0.
The Bulldogs following drive was short lived after another interception was picked off by Scott.
The Buffaloes gained nine yards and were able to move the ball to their own 30 yard line, when a fumble was recovered by Cormican.
With their spirits lifted, the Bulldogs marched down the field towards Mondovi territory. Matt Leach again connected with Mitch Leach for a 15 yard gain to put the ball on the 14 yard line.
Klassen ran for a one yard gain and then Leach switched back to the passing game for a throw to Mitch Leach to put the ball on the six yard line.
The ball was handed off to Klassen who brought the ball to the one yard line after his attempt to push into the end zone was shut down by the Buffaloes.
Klassen wasn’t going to be stopped again as he was handed the ball and ran in for Bulldogs first touchdown of the night.
The Bulldogs set up for a two-point conversion play, which was successful from a run by Kraft to make the score 8-18 with 2:42 left in the game.
The time ticked away as the Bulldogs had the ball on their own 13 yard line with 36 seconds left.
Leach completed a pass to Mitch Leach for a 13 yard gain, but the time ran out on the game.
“Mondovi is a very good football team, they played some tough non conference teams. But you have to win the turn over battle. We had two huge turnovers, at key points in the game and we didn’t make plays on balls that we were there on,” said coach Brian Roemhild.
The Bulldogs rushed for 145 yards and passed for 81 yards.
Matt Leach ran for seven yards. Klassen ran for 82 yards on 18 carries. Kraft ran for 64 yards on 17 carries and ran for six yards on one pass attempt. Cormican carried the ball for 33 yards on four pass attempts. Mitch Leach carried the ball for 42 yards on four pass attempts.
The Bulldogs will travel to Plum City to play against the Plum City/Elmwood team on Friday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m.