AURELIA - Jacob Howey picked off two passes in 1:36 of the third quarter and returned them both for touchdowns to break open a tight 14-0 game, and lead Aurelia to an exciting 44-14 District football win over Granville Spalding here Friday night at the Bulldog's Homecoming 2009.
Howey figured in on three Bulldog TDs, including those "pick sixes" in the third frame of 28 yards and 16 yards. Howey also scored in the first quarter on a 12-yard TD run to get the ball rolling for the host 'Dogs.
The Bulldogs rang up conversion points on a two-point run by Handwork, a two-point pass from Handwork to Berg, a two-point run by Menke, and a two-point run by Howey.
Spalding scored both TDs in the fourth period on a one-yard run by Jordan Plathe, with Plathe kicking the PAT, and with 31 seconds left in the game on a 43-yard TD pass from Ross Budden to Plathe, with Plathe kicking the PAT.
Aurelia rushed 37 times for 143 yards, with Howey leading the way with 23 hauls for 81 yards, and Witzel 10 carries for 60 yards. Handwork was 5-9 passing for 157 yards and two TDs with no picks.
Witzel led the Bulldog defense with 21 tackles, and Elliott Zadow had 20, and Austin Glawe 12.
"We played awesome," said a pleased Aurelia coach Grant Peckenschneider, who often has five freshmen in the 8-player lineup. "The kids are pumped. We really miss Zach Nixon (senior leader and two-way lineman out for the season with a knee injury), but our young kids and our three seniors (Witzel, Howey, Berg) really stepped up.
"The kids are getting better and are learning you must play this game full-speed or you pay. It's great to see. Zach is a Bulldog through and through, and he's still leading us in the locker room and on the field. I can't say enough about what a special kid he is."
Aurelia continues District play Friday night at winless Charter-Oak-Ute.