By Frank Rizzo
JEFFERSONVILLE October 9, 2001 Maybe it was the emotional lift of the Homecoming Game. Or making up for a disappointing loss the week before. Or facing their keenest rival.
Whatever it was, the Sullivan West Bulldogs had their A game in gear on Saturday, whipping visiting Tri-Valley 38-0 in a non-league contest.
The guests displayed their generosity early on. Collin Wilson recovered the first of five Bear fumbles (all lost) at the 19 within the first couple of minutes, and Steve Mootz immediately ran it in for the 6-0 lead.
The Bears fumbled it again on their next possession, giving the Bulldogs the ball at the TV 30. This time, however, the defense held, sacking quarterback Jake Sauer-Jones and stopping SW on a fourth-and-9 from the 15.
late in the first quarter SW forced a punt and a clipping penalty against the Bulldogs put the ball at their 3. No problem for the hosts, however, as four straight runs by John Compton placed the ball on the TV 31.
Mootz then gained a first down to the 20, and Compton took care of the rest, weaving his way to the end zone on first down. The Bears stopped Comptons two-point run, but found themselves down 12-0 with 10:40 left in the half.
Another Bear fumble on the ensuing kickoff gave SW the ball at the TV 20. Once again, the Bear defense was equal to the task, and sacked Sauer-Jones on fourth down to regain possession.
But the Bear drive stalled, and the visitors were forced to punt. SW got the ball at the TV 30 and Compton immediately ran it to within the 10. Two plays later he punched it in from the 5, then corralled the two-point pass play for a 20-0 lead with 5:21 left.
Twenty-one seconds later the Bulldogs had the ball again, thanks to another TV fumble. From the TV 26 it took them just four plays to score, with Sauer-Jones sneaking it from the 1 with three minutes left. The kick failed, and the Bulldogs went into the locker room up 26-0.
SWs Bryan Long snatched the short second half opening kickoff and carried it to the TV 43. One play later Sauer-Jones connected with Rob Orr for a 43-yard scoring play with just 15 seconds elapsed in the quarter.
Bryan Long closed out the scoring at 5:12 of the quarter, running the ball in from the 2.
We made too many mistakes, said T-V coach Max Stolzenberg. We were aggressive on defense, but offensively, we didnt get it done. You cant give the ball away that many times because then you cant get things started offensively.
It will be back to the drawing board, he added. A number of the kids played their hearts out today, but overall we were inconsistent.
It was a good all-out team effort, said SW coach Ron Bauer, whose team lost a disappointing Class C game to Spackenkill, 7-6, the week before. Basically, everybody played well. We got ourselves more ready to play this week. We controlled the line of scrimmage, which we didnt do last week.
John Compton continued to assume his starring role in the absence of leading rusher Kevin Mullally. Compton carried 18 times for 192 yards and two TDs. All but four of his yards came in the first half.
Mootz added 47 yards on seven carries while Sauer-Jones completed all four passes for 86 yards.
I got off the crutches yesterday, said Mullally, who hurt his ankle in the September 22 game against James I. ONeill. Im not in any pain now.
Mullally said he does not yet know when hell be cleared to play again.
Its hard to watch [from the sidelines], he admitted. You can only support the team and hope for the best.