The Aquin Bulldogs entered their homecoming game Saturday afternoon looking for their 5th win of the season to become playoff-eligible. The Amboy Clippers wanted to come in and play spoiler, while looking for their first win of the season.
The Dawgs would waste no time, as they forced Amboy to punt on their first possession. Back to field the punt was multi-threat player Will Gustafson, who would field the punt on the bounce, break off to his right, pick up a block, and out run everyone down the right sideline for an 86 yard punt return touchdown. The Evan Broge extra point kick was good as Aquin opened up a 7-0 lead with 9:47 left in the 1st quarter.
Amboy couldn't get much going on their second possession, as they tried to get standout Marcus Winn going in the pass game. After both teams traded punts, Aquin went to work. They would start on the ground with a run by Ty Stykel, then a quick pass to Andrew Bowman on the left sideline allowed Bowman to run up field, fight off a defender, and turn on the burners for a 57 yard touchdown reception. Another Broge extra point kick was good, as Aquin increased their lead to 14-0 with 3:56 left in the 1st quarter.
The Clippers would respond, and on the first play, as Preston Henkel dropped back to pass and found Marcus Winn on the left seam. Winn would break to his left, down the left sideline, and there was nobody who was going to catch him as he went the distance for a 59 yard touchdown connection. Maxim Ryjov would add the extra point as Amboy closed the gap to a 14-7 Aquin lead with 3:45 left in the 1st quarter. That lead would hold as we entered the 2nd quarter.
Amboy was able to pick up the pressure on the Aquin offense, forcing Will Gustafson to throw his first two interceptions of the season on back to back drives. With under 5 minutes left in the half, Gustafson would redeem himself with an 11 yard touchdown run up off the left side of the line. Broge was good on his try, and Aquin had a 21-7 lead with 4:42 left in the half.
In a situation where Amboy could take some time, chew up some clock, and work on moving the ball down only two scores, the Clippers tried to throw the ball. Henkel would end up throwing an interception as they were not able to get the ball moving, or chew time off the clock. Gustafson would make them pay, as he scored again from 17 yards out to push the Aquin lead to 28-7 with 1:47 left in the half, after the extra point kick was good. Aquin would get the ball yet again, after a blunder of plays, or play calls, by the Clippers, and with time running out, Gustafson hurried the team to the line, got the play off with 2 seconds left on the clock, rolled to his right, and found Bowman in the back of the endzone for a 10 yard score to push the Bulldog lead to 35-7 at the half.
In the 3rd quarter, Ty Stykel would extend that Bulldog lead to 42-7 with a 1 yard dive with 9:41 left in the quarter. Amboy would respond, as Winn would get a 3 yard touchdown run with 6:11 to go, and close the score to 42-14.
Right off the bat in the 4th quarter, Stykel would find the endzone again, and Aquin would go up 49-14 with 11:28 to play. Amboy would tack on another a touchdown as Henkel connected with Jordan Gully for a 5 yard touchdown pass, and then Broge and Ryjov would exchange field goals to cap off the scoring for the game as Aquin cruised to a 52-24 win to become playoff-eligible.
Aquin will travel to EPC (2-3) to go for their playoff clinching 6th win, while EPC is scrapping to stay alive for the playoffs. Amboy heads to Galena (0-5) as both teams are in search of their first wins. This is a huge game for the South division, as it is an opportunity for the Clippers to gain an extra playoff point for the rest of the division.