The North Bay Bulldogs overcame the rain and the Sault Steelers to win 28-14 on Saturday night and move to 4-0 on the season.
Author of the article:Greg Estabrooks : North Bay Nugget
Published Jul 10, 2023
The North Bay Bulldogs men’s team are now the only unbeaten team in the Northern Football Conference after a 28-14 win over the Sault Steelers on Saturday night.
The game was played at Saint Joseph Scollard Hall’s Cundari Field instead of Mike O’Shea Field at the Omischl Complex. The Bulldogs say they were told their usual field would be unavailable on Saturday due to a soccer tournament.
The rain arrived shortly before the 7 pm start time and that played into the Sault’s favour as they have a great running attack while the Bulldogs are a pass-heavy team.
Despite the rain North Bay scored through the air twice in the first half as Jordan Heather hooked up with Nick Laporte for two scores. Laporte made an enormous impact in this first game of the season with over 100 yards receiving.
North Bay went up by three touchdowns when Heather ran one into the end zone late in the second quarter.
The Sault finally got going late in the first half when a long completion got them deep in North Bay territory.
Quarterback Ryan Yost tossed a short touchdown pass to Taylor Holub on the last play of the first half to make it 21-7 North Bay at the break.
Jess Shoults rushed for a touchdown to make it 28-7 for the Bulldogs in the third quarter. Shoults also added an interception for North Bay having a huge game on both sides of the ball.
A late fumble gave the Steelers possession deep in North Bay territory. Alonzo Clarke, who had over 200 years rushing for the Steelers, took it into the end zone to make it 28-14.
Then things got a little weird. The field lights were scheduled to be shut off at 9:30 Saturday night. The problem was the game was not over as 1:16 was left. 20 minutes later the lights were turned back on, and the game finished with the score 28-14.
North Bay racked up 372 yards of total offence and had more than 100 rushing yards.
Mathon was especially pleased with the North Bay ground game.
“That was the first time this season we broke 100 yards rushing which is an improvement for us. This is especially important as it came against a Sault defence that is tough against the run,” remarked Mathon.
The Steelers’ passing game was not good, except for that one series in the last moments of the second quarter. Yost had just five completions in 20 attempts.
Casey Platinum had a big game on defence. The defensive tackle had a quarterback sack, a forced fumble, and one tackle for a loss. Mike Van Damme and Miguel Allard each had two sacks.
Next up is a trip to Ottawa to take on the Sooners. Ottawa narrowly lost to the NFC’s defending champions by a score of 15 – 8 on Saturday in Toronto.
The Dogs played their opener versus Ottawa and had to come from behind to defeat the Sooners 30-20 in North Bay on June 3rd.