VAN – The Van Bulldog football team opened their 2014 season with a 50-4 loss to powerful Meadow Bridge at home.
A season schedule that includes seven home games and a huge number of team members have provided Bulldog fans with great hope for the new year. But the home field advantage and numbers did little to help Friday evening in the season opener.
The squads did battle to an 8-8 tie to end the first quarter. After Shawn Harris scored on a six-yard run for Meadow Bridge, the Wildcats added the extra-points on a rushing play.
But Van came back on a 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cody Price to Greg Lail. Brady Grant rushed the ball in for the extra-points to create the 8-8 tie.
From there, it was all downhill for the local favorites. Scoring 14 points in each of the second, third and fourth periods gave Meadow Bridge their final margin of victory.
The Wildcats rolled on an offense that seldom was slowed in the second half. Van, meanwhile, had trouble mounting an offensive effort after looking good in the opening frame.
Meadow Bridge ran 42 plays on the evening, converting on 18 first downs. They were penalized five times for 45 yards.
Van statistics were not immediately available due to the Labor Day early deadline.
The Wildcat offense depended almost exclusively on its ground game as quarterback Ryan Church attempted just one pass, which fell incomplete.
However, Meadow Bridge managed 302 yards on the ground on 41 plays from scrimmage in controlling the outcome.
The game’s leading rusher was Wildcat Shane Harless, who romped for 104 yards on 14 carries on the night.
The junior Harless also led the team in defense, picking up seven tackles.
Church carried the ball in twice for two touchdowns and 12 points. Harless was also responsible for two touchdown scores. Craig Peters, L. Patterson and Logan Crowe each scored touchdowns for the Wildcat offensive unit.
Church and Dylan Walker added two-point conversions to account for the final score.
Fort Frye (Ohio) comes to Van this Friday before a rare road trip to Tug Valley on September 12. Kick-off time for both contests is 7:30 p.m.