Aurelia running back Jacob Howey runs hard around end to avoid the tackle by Ruthven-Ayrshire's Michael Sundall during football action in Aurelia Friday night. Photo by Dan Whitney
AURELIA - The small and young Aurelia Bulldog football team gave it a good effort here Friday night against non-district opponent Ruthven-Ayrshire, but they were unable to score against the Raiders, who snapped a 23-game losing streak with their 33 - 0 victory over the Bulldogs.
It certainly didn't help the Bulldogs' cause any when two of their leading rushers, Jacob Howey and Kyle Menke, were both forced out of the game with injuries within a minute or two of each other. Both had toted the ball a number of times before they left the game prematurely, leaving Taylor Witzel to shoulder the load of the rushing attack.
Witzel lugged the pigskin 26 times on the night, gaining 63 hard-earned yards. The gritty Witzel also paced the Bulldog defense, making 16 tackles. Elliott Zadow added a dozen stops of his own, including a couple of big hits. Zach Nixon chipped in with nine tackles, including one for a loss.
Aurelia football coach Grant Peckenschneider meets with his team during a break in the action at Friday's game against Ruthven-Ayrshire in Aurelia. Photo by Dan Whitney
Ruthven-Ayrshire scored in each quarter, leading 6 - 0 at the first quarter break, 20 - 0 at the half, and 27 - 0 after three quarters before scoring for the last time with 4:22 left in the game.
Freshman Steven Handwork completed 4 of his 12 pass attempts for the Bulldogs for 53 yards. All four receptions were by his freshman classmates, as Austin Glawe had two, for 26 yards, Kyle Menke one for 14 yards, and Colton Ballantyne one for 13 yards.
Aurelia has just 19 players on the roster this year, including five seniors, no juniors, five sophomores, and nine freshmen.
Members of the Aurelia Bulldogs' defense prepare to line up for another play against Ruthven-Ayrshire in Aurelia Friday night. They are Steve Berg (42), Zach Nixon (64), Taylor Witzel (23), and Elliott Zadow (78). Photo by Dan Whitney
On Friday, the Bulldogs travel to Whiting for their first district contest of the year.