Perfect Storm(s)…Westmoreland defensive end Teddy Flint (12) sacks Dolgeville quarterback Jake Darling (15) under a torrential downpour.
After weeks of speculation, prognostication and preparation “Thee game” of 2011 arrived. On a day when Mother Nature saved up an entire fall season’s worth of wind, rain and chill, the Westmoreland Bulldogs traveled to Bill Bynon Field in Dolgeville to take on the Blue Devils.
Fans began arriving at 11:30 a.m. to get a good vantage point for the 1:30 p.m. kickoff between the unbeaten and #10 state ranked Dogs (6-0) and the #3 Devils (6-0), who also enjoyed an unblemished record. Until today that is.
After Westmoreland absolutely dominated every facet of this football game and ended up winning by a score of 33-0, there is no doubt who the Section III, Class “D” East Champion is.
He wears a collar, barks a lot, drools on occasion and will pull the front porch off the front of the house instead of having to stay chained to it. He’s a Bulldog. A Westmoreland Bulldog.
Westmoreland took the opening possession of the game and slogged down the swamped turf for an 11 play, 58 yard drive that resulted in a 1 yard touchdown run by quarterback Zack Green.
After the two point conversion failed, the Bulldogs held a 6-0 advantage with 6:32 remaining in the first quarter.
The experienced hometown crowd of Dolgeville wasn’t phased by the Westmoreland score and they cheered their Devils offense onto the field to get down to business.
What the big crowd and their Devils were quick to realize however was that the Westmoreland defense was just as strong as their offense.
The Blue Devils were held to just one first down in the first quarter and on their opening possession of the second quarter, Westmoreland’s Ryan Murling drilled Dolgeville ball carrier Jared Frederick at his own two yard line forcing a fumble, which was recovered by Westmoreland.
Ruggerio was lost for most of the rest of the game with an injury.
Westmoreland’s offense took the field and Murling got the call, taking it in from the 2 and giving the Bulldogs a 12-0 advantage just :23 seconds into the second quarter.
Hassan Griffith ran in the two point conversion and the Bulldogs advantage was increased to 14-0. Which is the way this one would go to the intermission.
After the Blue Devils went three and out on their next possession, Westmoreland’s Zack Green went back to work, calling his own number for a 26 yard touchdown scamper up the middle, giving the Bulldogs a 20-0 advantage with 8:23 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Devin Williams’ extra point kick was good and the traveling version of the “Dawgpound” was happy with a 21-0 lead.
The Blue Devils played most of the second half without leading rusher Ray Ruggerio, who was sidelined with a leg injury.
Ruggerio entered today’s action with nearly 900 yards rushing in 6 games and replacing him in the mostly run style offense proved nearly impossible.
Ruggerio finished the day with 39 yards on the ground. Jared Frederick, Ruggerio’s backfield mate was also slowed by an injury during the second half.
Bulldogs tailback Ryan Murling made his big day even bigger when he broke loose on an 83 yard touchdown run with 10:41 remaining in the ball game to pretty much ice this one. After the extra point failed, Westmoreland had the third ranked team in New York pinned down at 26-0.
Tyler Barnes finished off the scoring for Westmo when he stepped in front of an errant Jake Darling pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown.
The turnover was Dolgeville’s fourth on the afternoon. As impressive as the Dogs offense was it was ditto for the defense as this hungry unit harassed and hurried the Dogleville offense for four quarters and held them to just under 130 total yards on the day.
Barnes then got the call and kicked home the extra point to make it 33-0, which is the way this game would come to an end.
Ryan Murling led all rushers with 126 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Zack Green had 2 touchdowns of his own, while rushing for 83 yards.
Both teams are in line to host Section III quarterfinal playoff games next weekend, with Westmoreland (7-0) the odds on favorite to receive the #1 seed.
Dolgeville (6-1) will likely host Beaver River while Westmoreland looks to play host to either Weedsport or Cato-Meridian.
Westmoreland 33 Dolgeville 0
1 2 3 4 Total
Westmoreland 6 8 6 13 33
Dolgeville 0 0 0 0 0