A quick start by the Staunton Bulldogs put another dash in the loss column for the Litchfield football team on Friday, Sept. 20, as the Panthers fell to 0-4 with a 48-16 loss in Staunton.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to touchdown runs of nine yards by Kyle Favre, 14 yards by Noah Partridge and 25 yards by Devin Ray.
Hopes were high that the second quarter would be better for the Panthers, and it was, but not before it got worse. Henrik Baloriak would pick off Clayton Walch’s pass to end Litchfield’s first offensive series of the second quarter, but Litchfield got the ball back four plays later when Austin Dewitt recovered Devin Ray’s fumble.
Litchfield’s momentum was short lived though as Staunton’s Garrett Dickerson ripped the ball from Walch’s hands on the very next play for a 41-yard strip-and-score, which gave Staunton a 28-0 lead with 8:57 to play.
The remainder of the game was much less one-sided as Staunton outscored the Panthers by just four points the rest of the way out, 20 to 16.
Litchfield would rebound after Dickerson’s score to put together a 16-play, 59-yard offensive drive that culminated with a John Corso touchdown from one yard out. A two-point conversion run from Dylan Maxwell would make it 28-8 with 2:36 to play in the first half.
The Panthers’ defense would bend in the final seconds of the quarter as Staunton got an 18-yard run from Ray and a 27-yard reception from Kyle McCalla, but the Bulldogs ran out of time before they could make one final bid for the endzone.
The hosts would get another score in the third on a 34-yard run by Ray, but Litchfield would force turnovers on downs in Staunton’s other two offensive series.
The Bulldogs would finally break free again in the fourth quarter, getting a 41-yard touchdown from Zach Ury to Kyle Favre on the first play after a failed fourth down conversion by the Panthers. Four plays, including two penalties for blocks in the back that erased forward progress, Staunton picked off Walch for the second time in the game. Ury would score from 11 yards out two plays later to make it 48-8 and start the running clock with ten minutes left in the game.
Litchfield would put together another long drive, nine plays for 69 yards, highlighted by two long receptions from Colin Becker and Blaine Stewart. Maxwell would carry it in from five yards, while Walch found Corso in the corner for the two point conversion to make it 48-16.
With the clock quickly winding down, that would be the final score of the game as Litchfield fell to 0-4 on the season, with Staunton improving to 2-2.
In addition to the touchdown run, Maxwell was his normal effective self on the defensive end, posting 12 tackles and two assists. Jefferson Thomas also had eight tackles, while Hunter Niemann contributed seven.
On offense, Clayton Walch was 7-for-23 passing for 83 yards and proved to be Litchfield’s top running threat once again with 97 yards on 22 carries. Maxwell and Blaine Stewart also had 31 rushing yards apiece, while Drew Hartzell ran ten times for 28 yards. Stewart led the receiving corps with 30 yards on two catches, while Colin Becker added a 29-yard reception.
Litchfield will be back at home in week five as they take on undefeated Vandalia at Lloyd Hill Field.
September 20 at Staunton
Litchfield (0-4) 0 8 0 8 16
Staunton (2-2) 21 7 7 13 48
1st: Staunton - Kyle Favre 9-yard run (Hollie Bekeske kick)
1st: Staunton - Noah Partridge 14-yard run (Hollie Bekeske kick)
1st: Staunton - Devin Ray 25-yard run (Hollie Bekeske kick)
2nd: Staunton -Garrett Dickerson 41-yard fumble return (Hollie Bekeske kick)
2nd: Litchfield - John Corso 1-yard run (Dylan Maxwell run)
3rd: Staunton - Devin Ray 34-yard run (Hollie Bekeske kick)
4th: Staunton - Kyle Favre 41-yard pass from Zach Ury (Hollie Bekeske kick)
4th: Staunton - Zach Ury 11-yard run (kick blocked)
4th: Litchfield - Dylan Maxwell 5-yard run (Clayton Walch pass to John Corso)
Passing: Clayton Walch 7-23-83, 2 INT.
Rushing: Clayton Walch 22-97, Dylan Maxwell 5-31, Blaine Stewart 1-31, Drew Hartzell 10-28, John Corso 6-4, Emiliano McGill 2-4, Charlie Rayphole 1-(-1).
Receiving: Blaine Stewart 2-30, Colin Becker 1-29, John Corso 3-14, Drew Hartzell 1-10.
Defense (Solo/Assists): Dylan Maxwell 12/2, Jefferson Thomas 4/4, Hunter Niemann 3/4, Charlie Rayphole 2/1, Austin Dewitt 2/0, Blake Balestri 2/0, Clayton Walch 1/1, Drew Hartzell 1/1, John Corso 1/1, Chase Dealey 0/2, Blaine Stewart 0/2, Josh Zumwalt 0/1, Colin Becker 0/1, Keaton Case 0/1.