Story by Fred Stabbert III
LAKE HUNTINGTON It was a game of opportunities and missed opportunites as the Sullivan West Bulldogs unveiled its potent offensive attack enroute to a non-league 56-6 win over visiting Eldred.
The Friday night game was played under the lights before a cheering crowd, Sullivan West pep band and a large contingent of cheerleaders from Eldred.
From the very first play, it appeared Eldred, 2-1, would have a rough night trying to compete with the larger Sullivan West Bulldogs.
On the opening kickoff, Eldred dropped the ball and Bulldog Devin Mirch recovered on the 28-yard line.
Three plays and 50 seconds later, Jared Meola ran it in from the 7-yard line. Michael Sedlack added the PAT and it was 7-0 Sullivan West.
Eldred Coach Pat Kean said that first play really set the tone.
“You can’t start like that a fumble on the first play. All of a sudden, it’s their ball.
“Some of our passes were there, we just couldn’t finish the play,” Kean said. “We were not executing against their defense.”
Sullivan West Coach Kurt Buddenhagen agreed.
“Turnovers helped us,” he said. “Eldred had a couple of big ones. We blocked two punts, and recovered a couple of fumbles and then capitalized on their mistakes.
“We did well tonight, especially on special teams,” Buddenhagen said. “We played four quarters instead of two.
“We’re getting there. We have to keep our intensity,” he said.
Sullivan West, 3-0, took command of the game early, scoring 43 points in the first half.
Sullivan West’s second score was set up by a Cody Franskevicz blocked punt on Eldred’s 8-yard line.
SW QB Sawyer Erlwein then ran it in to put the Bulldogs up 13-0.
Sullivan West again got great field position after a 20-yard punt return by Jared Meola.
QB Erlwein then hit Andrew Stabbert on the first play of the second quarter with a 5-yard TD pass in the corner of the end zone to make it 19-0.
The two-point conversion, on a pass from Erlwein to Franskevicz, was good and SW lead 21-0.
Five minutes later sophomore Brian Stauch took a screen pass over the middle from Erlwein and ran 32 yards for a touchdown.
Sullivan West’s Kevin Hart then blocked an Eldred punt on the 9-yard line but Sullivan West fumbled it right back.
On the next play, Eldred’s QB was called for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety and 29-0 SW led.
On the ensuing drive Erlwein broke loose on a 20-yard run for a TD to make it 36-0.
Jared Meola rounded out the scoring in the first half with a 50-yard punt return.
Both teams substituted freely in the second half, with SW adding two scores, on a 23-yard run by Stabbert and a long run by Travis Roeder.
Eldred’s Julian Gottlieb had a 37 yard scamper for Eldred’s only score of the game.
Tonight, Sullivan West will travel to Fallsburg for a 7 p.m. game while Eldred will play at Tri-Valley at noon on Saturday, September 22.