Late touchdown seals championship for Bulldogs
There were 55 seconds left on the clock in the 2018 South Coast Conference championship for the Bulldogs to save its undefeated season, but the team only needed 14 to make it happen.
In the final minute of Friday’s game against the Case Cardinals, Old Rochester’s Tyler Noe caught a bouncing ball on the kickoff and returned it 75 yards for the game sealing touchdown.
The swift return came just moments after Case rushed for a 15-yard touchdown to tie the game at 33-33.
Both teams came into the game at 6-0 and it was a hard fought match by both sides.
Old Rochester has rarely been tested this season, but Case’s small-school attitude caused a myriad of problems for the Bulldogs.
The Cardinals racked up nearly 500 yards of total offense and scored 33 points, which is equal to the total points allowed by ORR all season.
The Bulldogs’ problems didn’t end on defense.
On the third play of the game, senior Cole McIntyre threw an interception. When the Bulldogs fumbled the ball around midfield on the next drive, it became clear that the team would not cruise to a victory like last week’s win against Fairhaven.
The Bulldogs responded with an interception, setting up a touchdown by running back Dylan DeWolfe. Case answered with an 11-play, 64-yard drive capped off by a 3-yard scramble by the quarterback.
ORR scored twice more before heading into halftime up 20-13, including a 33-yard dash by Noe.
The second half was a roller coaster.
Coming out of the half, Case tied it up with a 53-yard touchdown pass. Less than two minutes later, senior Desmond Dias sprinted for a 33-yard score up the middle of the field.
The next Case drive ended abruptly after an interception. The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize on the mistake, however, and turned the ball over on downs following a series of negative plays.
Noe snagged his second interception on the next defensive stand, but the Bulldogs stalled with a fumbled ball on the 5-yard line.
Following a 77-yard touchdown by Case and a 5-yard score by the Bulldogs, ORR led 33-27. Case would go on to score with 55 seconds remaining, but a missed extra point kept the game tied 33-33.
That was when Noe made his spectacular kickoff return and carried his team to victory.
The Bulldogs play the 4-3 Bishop Stang Spartans at home on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.