VAN – It was a long evening Friday as the Van Bulldogs dropped a 33-13 decision to Midland Trail at Van.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 1-3 on the season with their lone win coming over Paden City.
Midland lifted its record to 2-3. Their other victory came over the Richwood Lumberjacks after three early losses.
The game was tight early. With 2:06 on the first quarter clock, the Patriots took the ball to the Van five-yard-line. On fourth-and-two, the Bulldogs stopped the team from Hico and got the ball back. The first quarter ended with no score by either team.
With just a minute gone in the second period, it looked as though the Bulldogs would give the home crowd a reason to cheer. Quarterback Brandon Elswick hit a 60-yard bomb to Justin Lambert, who took it to the Midland ten-yard-line. Elswick, running to the right on the next play, cut back and ran into his own man and a Trail defender. The Midland defender may have gotten his arm on the ball but nevertheless it slipped out and the Patriots recovered.
Starting from their own ten, Midland Trail completed a long drive to the Van three-yard-line with five minutes left in the half. With 3:28 twinkling on the scoreboard clock, Trail finally punched it in for a 6-0 lead. The two-points conversion pass fell incomplete.
Van came back with a touchdown and extra-point kick to take the lead, 7-6, at the end of the first half.
It was all-Midland the rest of the way as they came away with the 20-point win. The Patriots outscored Van, 12-7, in the third period and took the final quarter, 18-0, to ice the win.
Elswick led the Van offense on the ground with 26 carries for 183 yards. Lambert carried the ball eight times for 77 yards. Corey Agosti toted the pigskin six times for 22 yards; Derrick Halley, twice for 17; and Nick Hager carried once for no net gain.
Agosti was the defensive leader, with 20 tackles on the night. Halley added 14; Elswick, Logan Crouse and Jamie Belcher, five each; Michael Lovejoy, four; Hager, Zack Pridemore, Gage Shipman, Jordan Hartwell and Jared Cook, three apiece; Brayden White, two; and Tyler Houser, one stop.
This Friday, the Bulldogs make the long journey to Richwood for a 7:30 p.m. kick-off.
On October 11, Van hosts Sherman in a Boone County Class A rivalry game. The following week, Tug Valley comes calling for the final home game of the regular season.
It’s off to Clay-Battelle on November 25; with a visit to South Gallia, Ohio on November 1 before closing out the season at Man on November 8.