Week 4: Aquin vs East Dubuque
Football returned to historic Conley Field Friday night as the Aquin Bulldogs played host to East Dubuque, moving the game back to their own field after playing their first home game at Freeport High School.
The new #1 ranked team wouldn't disappoint after a slow start as they won running away in a 40-12 win over the Warriors.
The Bulldogs would waste little time getting started on the night as they covered 52 yards on their first series to score after William Gustafson connected with Andrew Bowman for a 37 yard TD. The reception would be Bowman's 20th TD grab of his career. Evan Broge would add the PAT to give Aquin a 7-0 lead.
While East Dubuque struggled to move the ball early, the Warrior defense was keeping the Bulldogs from being effective through the air as they put the clamps on the pass game, and put pressure in the gaps up front led by Gabe Hilby and Ben Tressel.
With just under a minute left in the first half Aquin would force East Dubuque to punt from their own 22. Pressure on the punter forced a bad kick and Aquin would take over at the Warrior 30 yard line. Just 30 seconds later Ty Stykel would punch it in from 5 yards out with a run up the middle to give Aquin a 13-0 lead they would take into halftime.
Aquin would start to tune up the offense in the 2nd half, and it started on the opening kickoff to the 3rd quarter as a Broge onside kick would be recovered by Andrew Bowman. It was Aquin's 3rd successful onside kick in the past 2 games.
Starting at the Warrior 49 yard line Aquin would chew up just over 2 minutes off the clock before Stykel would get his 2nd TD run on the night to push Aquin to a 19-0 lead.
On the very next series the Warriors threatened to get back in the game as Sam Bowman connected with Dawson Feyen for a 55 yard TD pass. The two point try failed, but the Warriors had some life and cut the deficit to 19-6 with 9:36 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Just 18 seconds later the Bulldogs would answer again, however, as Gustafson kept the ball on an option and scampered in from 24 yards out. He would add the 2 point conversion to increase the Aquin lead to 27-6. This would give Gustafson his 80th career offensive TD as he closes in on the NUIC record.
After exchanging punts on each of their next series, the Bulldogs would strike again early in the 4th quarter as Gustafson found room up the middle for a 49 yard TD run. This gave Aquin a comfortable 33-6 lead with 8:40 left in the game.
Aquin would add insurance on their next series as Gustafson rushed for his 3rd TD of the night on a 36 yard keeper. The Broge kick put Aquin up 40-6 with 2:55 left in the game.
Dawson Feyen would add an impressive 55 yard TD run for East Dubuque on their next series to complete the scoring on the night.
Aquin was led by William Gustafson, who rushed the ball 24 times for 194 yards and 3 TD's. Gustafson threw for 98 yards on 5-18 passing with 1 TD. Ty Stykel would add 150 yards rushing on 24 attempts with 2 TD's. Andrew Bowman had 4 receptions for 88 yards with 1 TD. He added the onside kick recovery, a sack, along with other big defensive plays. Hayden Neuendorf, Cade Geiken, Aiden Curry, and Christian Becke also had big plays defensively for the Bulldogs.
East Dubuque was led by Dawson Feyen who finished the night with 70 yards rushing and 47 yards receiving and 2 TD's. Sam Bowman was 4-9 passing for 59 yards and 1 TD before leaving the game with an injury. On defense Ben Tressel and Gabe Hilby played great for the Warriors forcing Aquin to find other ways to attack them.
Aquin (4-0) will take a road trip to Forreston (2-1) in an NUIC South showdown next Friday night.
East Dubuque (1-3) will return home and play host to Stockton (1-2) in a tough NUIC North game.