The East Dubuque Warriors would defer to the 2nd half as Aquin would be returning the opening kickoff. They would drive the ball the first 5 minutes of the game, moving it to the Warrior 5 yard line.Ty Stykel would take it the rest of the way for a 5 yard TD, and after a good PAT the Dawgs would be up 7-0. The following possession by the Warriors would last no longer than a hand full of plays before a fumble by East Dubuque, recovered by defensive lineman Tyler Geiken with 5:07 left in the 1st quarter.
The Bulldogs would take the next drive from midfield, but would not be able to capitalize on the opportunity. Turning the ball over to East Dubuque, they would be able to run 8 plays where quarterback Zach Meyer would find wide receiver Trey Culbertson 3 times, but would also end up having to punt away 3 minutes into the 2nd quarter.
Aquin's next possession would only be a 4 & out and being forced to punt. With 7:50 left in the half, the Warriors would take control of the clock, running 6 quick plays bringing them to the 40 yard line. The next play, running back Will Kieffer would take a pitch outside following his blocks, finding a seam, and running the ball for a 60 yard touchdown. It was now 7-7 with 6:05 left in the first half.
Aquin would set themselves up in a good position on their next drive where Will Gustafson would scramble and run 31 yards for a touchdown, however it would be called back for a questionable illegal block on the Bulldogs. Just 20 yards out from the endzone, the Bulldogs would go for it on 4th and 5, and would ultimately convert the 1st down. With 1:13 left in the half, Stykel would run 15 yards to the 1, and then punch it in for another Bulldog TD, putting the Dawgs back out in front 13-7.
Dawson Feyen would turn on the burners on the ensuing kickoff and get the Warriors to midfield with 43 seconds left in the half. With the Warriors still having all 3 timeouts, the next 43 seconds felt like 15 minutes. East Dubuque plowed the ball to the 20 yard line in 8 plays, and with one more chance before half, Meyer would launch the ball to Carlson downfield. He would haul in the catch just inside the 5, but unfortunately the clock had hit 0. We’d be going into half with Aquin up 13-7.
The East Dubuque Warriors would take their opening drive of the second half only 4 plays and punt, killing 3 minutes from the clock. Gustafson and the Bulldogs would eat 2 ½ minutes taking the ball 30 yards behind bulldog, bulldoz’n, powerhouse Stykel. There was magic in the air finally for this vigorous Aquin offense. On the next play, Gustafson would run the ball 22 yards to the 23, and follow that up with a 23 yard touchdown run. With another failed extra point the score was 19-7 in favor of Aquin.
The next Warrior drive, Meyer would continue to see Kieffer and Culbertson downfield, but only for a short time before punting away once more with 4:40 left in the 3rd. Only two plays into the next drive Gustafson would continue the magic breaking open a 43 yard run down the left side of the field after sidestepping 3 Warrior defensemen. The run was stopped by a horse collar tackle, so it moved the ball to the 1 yard line. Stykel would once again be called on, taking it in with 4:16 left in the 3rd quarter, extending Aquin's lead to 25-7.
East Dubuque would find themselves in a decent position to start a fighting drive, but the very first play Meyer would throw over the middle, the ball found its way into D-Lineman Tyler Geiken's hands once again, but this time as an interception. Being on the 35 yard line going in and having the momentum, the Bulldogs would run one play followed by a 5 yard rushing touchdown by number 8, Will Gustafson. Following a successful PAT try, it would now be 32-7 with 3:32 left in the 3rd.
Aquin would once again kickoff to a determined Warriors team, wanting to score and quickly. The first play would be a run up the middle by Will Kieffer, but he was met by a swarm of Bulldogs. As he was tackled, the ball fell to the ground and of course there can only be one man at this point who would be right there to get on top of it. That's right, Mr. Tyler Geiken with a fumble recovery and his 3rd turnover of the game, as he needs the new nickname “Hot Hands”. The ensuing drive would be highlighted by a 30 yard pass to Brennan Carlson, but they would not be able to capitalize.
East Dubuque would spend the rest of the 3rd quarter and 4 minutes into the 4th giving Aquin everything they could offensively. Aquin's final drive of the game would start with a 26 yard pass to Carlson once again, and end with a 30 yard rush by Stykel. Oh yeah, and another rushing touchdown for him, making it the cherry on top. The game would hit zeros at 39-7, as the Bulldogs would win their 4th straight game.
I will have to say going into this game I did not know what I was going to see, and after seeing East Dubuque’s size for the first time it really did throw me off. They have some huge guys on the team, and they used that to their advantage making Gustafson uncomfortable in the 1st half. Their defense put everything they could into stopping Stykel up the middle. If you look at the stats, ED has a team, they have playmaker's, and they have the will. Aquin is a team to beat still though, and after tonight looking into the next 3 weeks, they have a chance of putting up some incredible numbers. This will not be a team that is going to meet up with EPC in 2 weeks and take a flop. It starts with Gustafson, and the guys in front and behind him, and the guys wreaking havoc up front on defense. It's about the hand full of receivers that can and will catch the ball if thrown to them. This is a fun team and hopes are high this year.
Zach Meyer for ED would end his night with 100 yards passing, going for a respective 11-16. He found receivers, Trey Culbertson ( 6 catches for 43 yards), Zach Schulting ( 1 catch 6 yards, 2 rushes 12 yards), Will Kieffer ( 3 catches for 43 yards, 121 yards rushing on 8 carries, 1 TD), and Sam Hunington ( 1 catch for 10 yards). The Warriors were also led but rushers Cade Koehler 16 yards, Brevin Lee 4 yards, and Brennan Smith for 22 yards.
William Gustafson for Aquin ended his night going 8-17 with 113 yards passing and 137 yards rushing with 2 TD’s. He threw to receivers, Andrew Bowman (2 catches for 13 yards), Heath Brunner ( 1 catch for 17 yards), and Brennan Carlson (5 catches for 83 yards). The lone rusher behind Gustafson was, yours truly, Ty Stykel ( 21 carries for 157 yards rushing and 4 TD’s). I usually don’t run defensive stat lines unless its a big deal, and I would say what Tyler Geiken did tonight on defense was big (2 Fumble recoveries, 1 Interception).