Swanton trailed rival Evergreen 15-11 at halftime Friday night, but scored 42 straight points in the second half to secure a 53-22 victory. Michael Lawniczak scored four times for the Bulldogs.
Swanton scored on their first possession of the game by going 62 yards in eight plays.
Tim Rankin’s 16 yard run and Gunnar Oakes 25 yard catch were the key plays in getting Lawniczak to the end zone from two yards out that gave the Bulldogs an 8-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.
Evergreen countered, as Nick Etue hit first down passes to Josh Laux, Tyler Noe and Peyton Pawlaczyk to reach the Swanton 30. From there, Noe made a leaping catch in the end zone at the 2:50 mark of the first to slice the lead to 8-7.
Swanton dented the board late in the second quarter as Zack Leahey’s 33 yard gallop set up Nick Koback’s 30 yard field goal that increased the Bulldog lead to 11-7 with 2:04 left in the half.
It took the Vikes a little over a minute though to hit paydirt and take a halftime lead.
Etue hit Noe for 43 yards and on a fourth down play, Jon Milliken went high over a Swanton defender for a 21 yard scoring catch and the ensuing two point conversion gave Evergreen a 15-11 lead.
Three first half fumbles kept the Swanton offense in check for the opening half.
The wind played a role right away in the third as the Vikings pooch kickoff hung up for Jonathon Shanks to catch and return to the Viking 47 where it took just four plays for Leahey to ramble into the end zone from 18 yards away, giving the Bulldogs a lead they never gave back.
After picking up a first down, Justin Timpe sacked Etue, causing a fumble that was recovered by Swanton at the Viking 38.
Evergreen held for three plays and a fourth down pass that went up for grabs was hauled in by Oakes as the Viking defender, who had tight coverage, never turned his back from the ball.
That play proved vital as instead of a turnover on downs, Oakes’ acrobatic 34 yard catch put Swanton up 25-15.
Then the Bulldog defense stiffened and Swanton took full advantage of the wind as Robbie Gilsdorf fielded a short punt and burst through a wall of people to the one to set up a one yard score on a Bryce McComb sneak, and a short Viking punt gave Swanton starting position at the Evergreen 27 where Lawniczak scored again from the two to put the game out of reach.
For the game, Swanton had 383 of their 445 yards on the ground, led by Lawniczak’s 145 and Leahey’s 91.
The Bulldog defense held Evergreen to well below their 400 yard total offense average as the Vikings had just 280, 233 passing as Etue was just 18 of 43.
Swanton (6-0, 3-0 NWOAL) travels to Patrick Henry this week, while Evergreen (4-2, 1-2 NWOAL) plays at Delta.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org