By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON The Sullivan West Bulldogs earned a postseason berth with a 45-0 win over the visiting Spackenkill Spartans on Friday night under the lights on the SW High School campus.
With its victory, SW improved to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in Class C. The Bulldogs will most likely be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Class C playoffs, as Ellenville, which defeated SW earlier this autumn, has already clinched the regular season Class C crown.
Spackenkill (2-5, 2-3 Class C) is one of three teams Liberty and Millbrook are the other two which can finish either third or fourth in the regular season standings and therefore earn a spot in the semifinals.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to touchdown runs of 4 yards and 74 yards by senior running back Austin Erlwein. Following the second TD, SW junior quarterback Ryan Alsdorf threw a two-point conversion pass to Artie Norden.
On the first play of the second quarter, Alsdorf connected with Norden for a 20-yard TD.
With 7:33 left until the intermission, Norden kicked a 27-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 24-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, SW recovered a fumble deep in Spackenkill territory.
The Bulldogs quickly turned the miscue into points as Alsdorf threw a 7-yard scoring strike to Eric Leewe as the final three seconds ticked off the clock. Norden then made the PAT kick to give the home team a 31-0 advantage at the half.
Erlwein scored the final two SW touchdowns in the third quarter.
The first was a 31-yard run with 10:43 remaining in the stanza and the second was a 9-yard scamper with 3:48 displayed on the scoreboard clock.
“Give credit to Sullivan West,” Spackenkill Coach Don Neise said. “They did a great job.”
As a team, the Bulldogs rushed for 398 yards. Erlwein led the way with 136 yards on six carries. Chris Murphy ran 11 times for 79 yards, Latti Rabii carried the ball three times for 56 yards, Alsdorf rushed seven times for 54 yards and E.J. Franskevicz had 29 yards on three runs.
Alsdorf completed 12 of 18 passes for 105 yards.
Junior linebacker Brandon Wagner led the Bulldogs’ defense with 13 tackles. Leewe had two sacks, while Mike Schmidt and Mark Tesseyman had one sack apiece.
“We played well on offense, defense and in the kicking game,” SW Coach Ron Bauer said. “[Assistant Coach] Kurt [Buddenhagen] did a nice job calling the plays on offense.
“It was a good, overall team effort,” Bauer added.
The win was also a nice early birthday gift for the veteran coach. After the game, the SW players and assistant coaches sang “Happy Birthday” to Bauer and they all enjoyed cupcakes to celebrate his birthday, which was on Sunday.