GLIDDEN - The Aurelia Bulldogs ran into a great team and cold weather, which seemed to affect their passing game in the first half, as they dropped a 49-34 opening round 8-player playoff game to the defending State Champion Glidden-Ralston Wildcats here Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs were down by a 7-0 score just 35 seconds into the game, as Glidden-Ralston's Zach Stork reeled off a 62-yard touchdown run. Five minutes later, the Wildcats made it 14-0, but Aurelia came back to notch a score of their own as Gabe Fuller ran it in from four yards out to make it 14-7 after one quarter.
The Bulldogs came out fired up in the third quarter as brothers Jared and Jacob Bruce connected on two scoring passes, one from 11 yards out and the other a dandy leaping catch by Jacob on a 32-yard pass. The Aurelia defense held the Glidden-Ralston attack in check, and the two teams were at 28-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
Stork scored again for G-R, just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, then quarterback Seth Johnson hit Stork with a 55-yard touchdown pass just a couple of minutes later, making the score 41-21 Wildcats with 9:30 left in he game.
With 2:49 left in the game, Jacob Bruce made a great catch of a 28-yard pass from quarterback Jared Bruce, in the back corner of the end zone, to match Glidden-Ralston's Stork with his fourth touchdown of the game, That was the final sore of the game, though, and Aurelia's season ended with a 49-34 loss to the defending State Champs.
Jared Bruce completed 21 of 34 passes for 262 yards and four touchdowns in the game, and also had two of his passes intercepted. Senior Jacob Bruce caught 14 of his brother's aerials for 277 yards and those four touchdowns, wrapping up a great football career at Aurelia. Gabe Fuller led the Bulldogs' running attack with 44 yards on nine carries, while Mike White had 39 yards on 11 carries.
Aurelia coach Myron Radke said that "Glidden-Ralston has a great team,and it was not our night to win."
Radke said this year's Bulldog team was "the most-improved team I've ever coached." Since his coaching career covers 25 years, that's saying quite a lot. He also described the Bulldogs as "over-achievers to the max," and said, "their work ethic and dedication to become winners took them to the playoffs."
The 'Dogs finished the season with an 8-2 mark, and will lose a lot of good players to graduation, including wide receiver/ defensive back Jacob Bruce, running backs/linebackers Mike White and Gabe Fuller, and linemen Andrew Perry, Drew Puhrmann, Ross Fitzgerald, Aaron Sennert, Phillip Winterhof, and Brian Janssen.
Radke concluded his post-game thoughts by saying that "these young people are winners - on and off the field," and he thanked everyone "for being a part of our Aurelia Bulldog football team."