A little over eight minutes into the first quarter of their home opener against Wilcox Tech (0-1), the Bacon Academy football team (1-0) led, 21-0.
The Bobcats’ statistics were as dominant as the score. In two possessions, the Indians had run a total of 11 plays, including two penalties and two punts, and had netted a total of 25 yards, including eight penalty yards charged against Bacon.
In three possessions, the Bobcats had run 16 plays, including three extra points and had netted a total of 211 yards and three touchdowns.
After building a 28-0 halftime lead, Bacon cruised to a 42-22 win.
“We executed real well,” said Bobcat head coach Duane Maranda. “The coaches put together a real good game plan and the kids executed the game plan. Defensively and offensively, we did well. Really all three phases, special teams played well. They kept onside kicking and our kids did a nice job of covering that up.”
Execution gave Bacon a 7-0 lead in less than two minutes.
From the Bobcat 35, quarterback Brennden Cullen opened with a short pass to Alex Couture, then ran a third and seven to the Wilcox 33. A second completion to Couture gave the Bobcats first and goal on the Indian four.
After Corey Geisman made a short gain, Cullen followed his line into the endzone, setting up Trey Geisman’s first of six perfect extra point kicks.
“I was happy with my offensive line [Dylan Kniska, Matt Hamm, Will Bartol, Adam Olcyzk, and Spencer Dimock],” said Cullen. “They had to read the D line, which is not easy to do cause you’ve got backers coming in and out and blitzes and everything and they made the right calls. And they followed through. That’s the key to it.”
A short Indian possession and a second punt gave the Bobcats the ball 90 yards from the Wilcox goal line, and Cullen’s line executed perfectly, allowing him space for a 21-yard scamper, time to hit Couture with a 53-yard strike, and then the opportunity pull the ball down and dash for a 14-yard touchdown.
Wilcox started their second possession on their own 31 yard line. The Bobcat defense sniffed out a reverse, smothered a sweep, and forced an incompletion for a net gain of negative one yard. The Wilcox punt was inevitable.
“The D line’s been getting some good pressure,” said Bacon tri-captain Matt Hemm. “The end and anchor have been forcing everything inside and we’ve been having good middle linebackers who’ve been making the plays. We’ve been getting good coverage, too, by the corners and the strong safety. We had watched film, prepared for them, put in a couple of new blitzes for their offense, and just practiced well.”
Practice made perfect for the offense, which took over on the Bacon 44 and, assisted by a Wilcox penalty, covered the 56 yards in four plays from scrimmage, capped by a three-yard touchdown completion to Couture.
Cullen’s third touchdown gave the Bobcats a 28-0 halftime lead, and a Wilcox fumble early in the third quarter gave Bacon a first and goal on the Wilcox 10. Two plays later, Couture’s second touchdown reception stretched Bacon’s lead stretched to 35-0.
Wilcox had come to play football and scored twice, adding two-point conversions. Suddenly 35-0 had become 35-16.
“What’s hard is sometimes when you get up big, fast like that, you have a tendency to relax a little bit,” said Maranda. “The hard part is when it’s 35-16 and now they’re within 20 and now you gotta try to get your other guys up to go back in and that’s hard to do sometimes.”
Bacon made the hard part look easy, covering 72 yards in 35 seconds on the clock. Cullen broke tackles on a 32-yard run, passed to Shawn Brzostowski for 39 yards, then followed his line over the goal line for the final yard and his fourth touchdown of the day.
Wilcox showed grit with a touchdown in the final 30 seconds, ending the game 42-22.
The Bobcats have a short week to get ready for their game at Fitch, a considerably more challenging opponent, on Friday night.