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Poland wins 28-0 in Dogs vs Dogs match

October 17, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

If there was one high school football team in the area that badly needed a win in Week 8 it was the Poland Bulldogs.

Since starting 2018 with five straight victories, the Bulldogs were bounced in back-to-back weeks. A trip to upstart Lakeview was exactly what the Poland boys needed. Three touchdown runs by the visitors set the tone. Dominating defense the entire contest sealed the deal as Poland won the battle of the Bulldogs 28-0. The whitewash win righted 6-2 Poland's ship as it remains in the hunt for another postseason appearance.

It only took the visiting Bulldogs three minutes to establish their dominance on hostile turf. Junior tailback Joe Alessi picked up some great blocking and busted through Lakeview's defensive front for a 42-yard touchdown run that put Poland ahead 7-0. A much shorter touchdown plunge of two yards by junior Jake Rutana about five minutes later made it 14-0 in favor of Poland.

Cole Kosco capped a nice scoring drive by the Bulldogs in the second stanza with a 1-yard TD sneak to give them a 21-0 advantage at intermission. That halftime lead would essentially end the game because the Bulldogs from Poland treated their hosts very rudely throughout the night.

Lakeview only amassed six first downs and were kept less than 100 yards of total offense by Poland's pulverizing defensive attack. It's the type of lights out defense the Bulldogs displayed when they only allowed 21 points over their first five contests. Poland also pitched its fourth shutout in six wins last Friday night in Trumbull County.

Kosco would factor into one more score for the Bulldogs before the night officially ended. He would toss a 6-yard touchdown pass to senior Scott Campbell with about seven minutes remaining to give Poland its final margin of victory. The senior signal caller would finish the game a very efficient 6 of 11 passing for 107 yards and that one touchdown. Alessi aided the offense with 100 yards on the ground. That total was just some of the Bulldogs' 252 yards rushing for the game.

If Poland establishes anything on offense this week it may be considered a miracle. Heading into town this Friday is undefeated Hubbard. The Eagles are coming off a 41-0 shellacking of Struthers at home and haven't given up a touchdown since Week 5. In fact, if you eliminate an anomaly game when the Eagles allowed Girard to score 32 points in a crazy 48-32 win in Week 2, Hubbard's defense has averaged 5.5 points against in its other seven wins. Over the past three weeks they've won by a total combined score of 139-0.

Making matters worse for the Bulldogs is that their margin for error over the final two weeks is slim if they want to stay alive for a Week 11 game. A regular season finale with 7-1 archrival Canfield looms in two weeks as well making this battle with Hubbard a de facto playoff match. Poland pummeled the Eagles last October 26-7, but that .500 Hubbard squad was not even close to the unbeaten juggernaut head coach Brian Hoffman has put together in 2018. To say the cards are stacked against the Poland club the rest of this season would be an understatement.



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