The Louisiana Bulldogs started out well, but then created mistakes in a 40-15 home loss against the Clark County Indians on Friday, Sept. 6. Louisiana is now 0-2 on the year.
“Clark County is a very, very good ballclub,” Louisiana Head Coach Greg Purdum said about the 2012 Clarence Cannon Conference champions.
“We had a good first half but then we started shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties. Not recovering onside kicks also did us in.
“We were trying to make plays in other ways than we’ve been teaching them on defense,” Purdum added.
Clark County surprised the Bulldogs with an onside kick to start the game, recovering after the ball barely went 10 yards. The Indians then drove right down the field to score. When the point after failed, it was 6-0 with only 3 1/2 minutes elapsed in the first quarter.
After a Louisiana fumble, the Indians scored again with 4:27 to go in the quarter. A two-point conversion made it 14-0 Indians.
Junior wide receiver Elijah Oblinger took the ensuing kickoff back to the Louisiana 45-yard-line. Oblinger then caught a pass from sophomore quarterback Zach Richardson to set up a first-and-goal at the 1 as the quarter ended.
The Bulldogs couldn’t punch it in the end zone to start the second quarter and the Indians took over on downs.
Clark County started a methodical drive down the field, but then fumbled at the Louisiana 10-yard line with 8:01 to go in the half. Junior linebacker Dallas Castagna recovered the fumble.
Richardson threw a 28-yard strike to junior wide receiver Tyler Francis with 1:19 to go to set the Bulldogs up at the Indians 29-yard line.
Richardson followed with a long pass to the front corner of the end zone. Senior wide receiver Zach Martin made a leaping catch over an Indian defender for a touchdown with four seconds left in the half.
There was a botched snap for the point after, but Castagna picked it up and ran it in, making the score 14-8 as the gun sounded.
The second half wasn’t as pleasant for the Bulldogs, who were stung with a 15-yard touchdown pass on a fourth down with 7:24 to go in the third quarter. The successful point after kick made it 21-8.
Clark County once again recovered an onside kick and scored after a long drive with 3:28 left in the third frame. The PAT went wide and the score was 27-8. The Indians scored again in the third quarter after an interception. The point after was good and it stood at 34-8 with 2:12 to go in the quarter.
The Bulldogs saved some dignity with a six-yard touchdown by senior running back Brycen Cropp midway through the fourth quarter, but it was too late.
Cropp led the team in rushing with 65 yards. Senior fullback Austin Rule had 41 yards. Richardson ran for 25 yards and sophomore running back Lane Rule had 15 yards.
Richardson was five for 15 passing for 97 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Martin caught two passes for 46 yards and the TD. Oblinger also caught a pair for 23 yards.
Austin Rule ruled on defense with 14 tackles, including a sack. Castagna was credited with 6 1/2 tackles, as was Oblinger.
Martin had five tackles, junior defensive back Cody Brown had four, sophomore linebacker Michael David had 3 1/2 and Lane Rule had three at defensive back.
The Bulldogs hope to win their first game at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13 on the road against the county rival Bowling Green Bobcats.