Algona set the tone for Friday's game against Estherville Lincoln Central with a three-play scoring drive to start the contest.
The Bulldogs built an 18-0 lead before a late first-half score by the Midgets. But ELC couldn't get its offense going in the second half as Algona left town with a 31-6 victory.
"The Defense did a better job later in the game, but they ran pretty hard at us," said ELC coach Andrew Umthun. "Their front line won the ballet in the trenches on both sides of the ball."
ELC’s Carsten Bosch hauls in ELC’s only touchdown, a 7-yard pass in the back of the endzone with 31 seconds remaining in the first half against Algona. Find photos online at cu.esthervillenews.net.
Photo by David Swartz
Algona quarterback Weston Shaw completed that first drive with a 17-yard run with less than a minute gone in the game.
ELC's best chance to score came when they took over on downs after the Bulldogs had a bad snap on an attempted punt.
But ELC fumbled the ball back on a bad snap from scrimmage.
The Bulldogs put together a late first-quarter drive that culminated with a fourth-down pass from Shaw to Tyler Frideres.
ELC had another chance to score in the second quarter when Justin Heinrichs connected with Avery Hansen down the middle as Hansen got behind two Bulldog defenders.
That set up first and 10 and the Algona 19. But a couple penalties pushed ELC back and the Midgets punted on fourth and 24.
Algona came back and scored in the second quarter on a 2-yard run by Noah Arrowood.
ELC got the ball back late in the first half. A pass from Justin Heinrichs to Joe Heinrichs got ELC to the Bulldog 10-yard line. Billy Snyder rushed for 4 yards on first down. On second down, Justin Heinrichs connected with Carsten Bosch in the back of the end zone.
While the PAT failed, the score gave ELC momentum at halftime.
"At halftime that's what we talked about is that we aren't out of it yet," said Umthun.
But the Bulldogs scored midway through the third quarter when Shaw connected with Justin Raymond on a 39-yard pass to make it 24-6.
The final straw was an ELC fumble returned 42 yards with 8:47 left in the fourth quarter.
"The guys did a good job of battling throughout the game, even though things weren't going our way," said Umthun.
Unofficially, Justin Heinrichs finished with 30 yards on 20 carries, Snyder had 16 yards on 11 carries and Mark Paulson had 25 yards on six carries.
Heinrichs was 14-ot-26 passing for 133 yards.
ELC (1-1 overall) opens district play on the road against East Sac County next Friday.