Our Upstate Game of the Week featured the Aquin Bulldogs hitting the road to take on the Polo Marcos. Over the past 10 seasons, Aquin has owned the Marcos, and coming into the game that was the expectation, but Polo has proven to be a tough opponent despite low numbers to start the year, and Friday night would be no different.
Aquin would strike first, as Will Gustafson caught the Marco defense sleeping on the very first play of the game as he ran off a 62 yard TD run to get it started. The Patrick Seas point after attempt was good, and Aquin had the lead 7-0 just 39 seconds into the game.
Polo would put a great drive together to respond, driving deep into Aquin territory after some big runs by Tucker Mumford and Braiden Soltow, the Marcos were inside the Bulldog 10 yard line when Brennan Carlson stepped in front of a Soltow pass intended for Jace Coffee to end the threat.
That didn't lead to much, however, as the Polo defense responded with a big stop, and a near safety as they sacked Gustafson at the Aquin 1 yard line to force a Bulldog punt. The Marcos would get rolling moving the ball efficiently on the ground against the Bulldog defense, but were stuck with a 4th and goal from the Bulldog 12 yard line. Soltow dropped back, rolled out, then found a wide open Coffee in the middle of the end zone for the score. After the kick was good, the game was tied at 7 at the end of the first quarter.
Not even 2 minutes into the 2nd quarter, the Dawgs would respond, once again behind the legs of Gustafson, as he burst through the left side of the line and took off to the left sideline, down the field for a 47 yard TD run. Another successful PAT by Seas was good, and the Dawgs were in the lead 14-7 with 10:09 remaining in the half.
Not to be outdone, the Marcos chewed off clock, once again on the legs of Mumford and Soltow, along with a few passes from Soltow, as they would punch it in from a yard out on 4th and goal again, on a 1 yard dive from Mumford. The Casey Thacker PAT was good, and once again we were tied at 14 all with 4:34 left before the half.
The fireworks were not over yet, as Aquin would drive down the field again to about midfield. With just over a minute and a half left in the half, Gustafson would find Ty Stykel up the seam for a 42 yard TD pass to give Aquin a 20-14 lead they took into halftime.
After exchanging punts to begin the 2nd half, it belonged all to Polo, as they converted on their next 2 drives, as Soltow scored from 2 yards out with 2:08 left in the 3rd to give the Marcos a 21-20 lead, and then Mumford put the finishing touches on it with a 7 yard TD run with 9:11 to go in the game for a 28-20 lead.
Aquin had one more drive in them, starting at their own 31 yard line with 5:29 to go. After a few Gustafson runs, a big pass play to Carlson set the Dawgs up inside the Polo 40 yard line. With 39 seconds remaining, a Gustafson pass attempt to Logan White was intercepted by Tucker Mumford to seal the deal as the Marcos won 28-20.
On the night, the Marcos were led on the ground by Tucker Mumford, who finished with 20 carries for 114 yards and 2 TD's, along with the critical interception to end the game. Braiden Soltow chipped in 78 yards rushing on 19 carries with 1 TD, and went 7-16 passing for 87 yards and another TD.
For Aquin, Will Gustafson had 172 yards rushing on 14 carries with 2 TD's, and went 4-11 passing for 75 yards and another score. Brennan Carlson had 2 receptions for 32 yards, while Ty Stykel had 2 receptions for 43 yards.
Aquin (3-1) vs Forreston (2-2)
Polo (3-1) @ Warren (0-4)