Football team starts year off strong

When two bulldogs square off under the lights of Bulldog Stadium, the top dog will always prove victorious, sending the puppy home, whimpering with its tail between its legs.

This held true on the night of Aug. 28, as the local Bulldogs opened their regular season at home against the Green Bulldogs.

After the kickoff, Stow’s defense contained the offense of Green, forcing them to punt early. From there it was Stow’s offense that took complete control of the first half. With 7:51 left to go in the first, it was a 14-yard end zone run from senior Jayson Gobble, followed by the completed extra point of senior Garrett Rigby that put Stow on top 7-0. While these were the only points of the first quarter by the either team, nothing could prepare Green for the eruption by Stow’s offense in the subsequent quarter.

Right from the gate, junior quarterback Kyle Vantrease connected with junior Logan Lindsay for a 48-yard touchdown. No sooner than five minutes later did Gobble find himself in the end zone again followed by Vantrease targeting Lindsay from 12 yards to put Stow up 28-0.

An obvious improvement in accuracy and confidence was noted from Vantrease, and it’s no fluke. His summer was spent working on his game.

“I went to 10 camps this year, 6 on a bus tour. Just being able to throw at a different tempo makes a huge difference,” Vantrease said.

Things looked grim for the Green Bulldogs. A glimmer of hope was found mid-second quarter as they punched in a one-yard touchdown to put the team on the scoreboard. Senior Nick Bovard took it into his hands to make sure they were put right back into their place.  The ensuing kickoff resulted in Bovard returning it 90 yards for a touchdown pulling Stow’s lead to 35-7. The closing minutes of the half gave Gobble his third touchdown of the night on a 27-yard run. Stow held a strong 41-7 lead going into halftime.

The second half brought Green two touchdowns, but much more would be needed to crawl out of the deficit they fell into. A huge 88-yard run from Gobble resulted in a 2-yard push from Vantrease to finish the third quarter up 48-14 in favor of Stow.

Stow wrapped up the fourth quarter, going on to win the game 48-21. Gobble finished his night with 195 rushing yards and three touchdowns, followed by Vantrease with one rushing touchdown and two throwing. Lindsay finished the night with two receiving touchdowns along with one touchdown from Bovard.

Though it was a strong night for the Bulldogs, Vantrease sees there’s a lot to improve on. “I think tonight could have been better. We had two turnovers and a lot of mental mistakes. The offensive line is doing well though. The way coach Norri prepares them so well it just comes natural,” Vantrease said.

Stow made the switch from the Federal League to the Suburban League this year and are certainly in the minds of the upcoming teams on their schedule.

Lindsay said, “We looked great tonight. We’re going to do big things this season.”

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