Jodie Bosheers ’14 – Online Editor
The Romeo Bulldogs defeated the Port Huron Big Reds 38-27 in Romeo’s 5th annual Watchdog game. The MAC crossover win improves the Bulldog record to 3-3.
Before kick off, the two teams took the field along with all those being honored at the game. Each Romeo player wore the name of someone affected by cancer. Following their entrance, a moment of silence was held for those who had lost their fight to cancer.
‘[Playing in the Watchdog game] is literally one of the greatest experiences I’ve had on the football team. The whole community comes together and it’s very emotional. It teaches you to take care of each other and to help those in need,” Ryan Naughton (12) said, when asked what the game meant to him.
The Big Reds were on the board within the first two plays of the game putting them ahead 7-0. Romeo responded to Port Huron’s early attack with Mitchell Hess’s (12) 6 yard rushing touchdown. Andrew Behring (11) tied the game at 7-7, with a successful PAT.
The Big Reds took their last lead of the night with just under 4 minutes left in the 1st quarter making the score 14-7, Port Huron.
The first Bulldog drive of the second quarter led to an 8 yard touchdown run by Mitchell Pacitti (12) bringing the game to a tie, 14-14. Quarterback Paul Hurley (10) found Jason Sammut (12) in the end zone late in the 2nd to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the night. Behring’s extra point was good, making it 21-14, Romeo.
Defensive efforts by the Bulldogs stopped the Big Reds on a 4th down attempt just before halftime.
“Our defense played great in clutch situations, making big stops when we needed them, especially on fourth down. It gave our offense some great opportunities and momentum to drive off of,” Jason Sammut (12) said.
In the 3rd quarter, Hurley increased the Romeo lead to 28-14 by threading a pass to Bradley Tanner (10), completing the 35 yard touchdown play. The point after was clean by Behring.
Port Huron came back with a scoring drive closing the gap to 28-21.
Romeo reclaimed the game when Pacitti returned the following kick off for an 85 yard touchdown. Behring tacked on the extra point to bring the Bulldogs ahead, 35-21.
Jacob Archutowski (12) picked off a pass by the Big Red offense the following possession, running the Bulldogs into scoring position. Behring knocked in a 36 yard field goal, 38-21, Romeo.
A failed two point conversion attempt following a Big Red touchdown, kept the Big Red’s trailing, 38-27.
“Our defense came up big. We knew [Port Huron] was predominantly a running team. When we could stop their run and force them to throw the ball, it helped us stop them and get our offense back on the field,” Charles Roth (12) said, when asked about the importance of Romeo’s defensive performance.
Romeo’s defense closed the game holding Port Huron on their own 11 yard line with a final 4th down stop. The Bulldog offense then ran the clock out to end the game.
The Bulldogs will continue their league play against MAC Red rival, Utica Eisenhower, next Friday, 10/11 at Swinehart Field. Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Above: Members of the Romeo community fill the outline of a ribbon of hope representing the fight against all types of cancer.
Photo by: Jodie Bosheers