Bulldogs score early and often in homecoming night win
Bailey scores 3 TDs, runs for 196 yards
RIDGELY — A Rams’ lead lasted for 44 seconds Friday evening at North Caroline High School.
On North Caroline’s second play from scrimmage, David Bailey blasted through the right side of Parkside’s defense and down the sideline for a 55-yard touchdown run.
Bailey’s touchdown began a streak of 42 straight points for the Bulldogs as they cruised to a methodical, crushing 42-10 homecoming victory.
The Rams’ only touchdown came on Nayel Oge’s 25-yard TD carry with North Caroline reserves playing defense late in the fourth quarter.
Bailey added two more touchdown runs and also contributed a 39-yard run on a fake punt, setting up the Bulldogs’ third TD for a 20-3 halftime lead. Finding room through the Rams’ defense and running over and dragging defenders at times, Bailey finished with 196 yards on 21 carries.
North Caroline (5-1) scored touchdowns on its first four possessions and only punted once.
“Our kids played well. We were grinding,” Bulldogs head coach James McCormick said. “That’s our thing, keep grinding. Stay on your blocks, run the ball hard, block hard, play good defense, just keep grinding. Good fundamentals and play ball. I told our guys, ‘It ain’t about flash and dash, it’s about showing up and working hard and doing the fundamentals right and having success.’ You have to grind to do that and I thought we did that.” Neither team had a turnover. Oge finished with 130 yards on 19 carries to account for most of the Rams’ offense. He picked up 30 yards on the second play of the game and 18 yards on a fourth-and-3 as Parkside reached the Bulldogs’ 10-yard line. But North Caroline’s defense stuffed three straight runs and the Rams settled for Justin Ball’s 30-yard field goal for their only lead, 3-0.
After Allan Saatoff gained five yards to open North Caroline’s offense, Bailey bolted for his 55-yard TD run. Robbie Blakely kicked the extra point for a 7-3 lead with 5:51 left in the first quarter.
Parkside (3-3) reached the 50 on the next series before punting. The Bulldogs then embarked on a 14-play drive that ended with Tyler Bauer’s 4-yard TD run. Bailey and Saathoff, taking advantage of blocking, combined for 11 runs that put North Caroline at the Rams’ 17. Bauer then picked up 10 yards to the 7 and, after a short gain on a sneak by quarterback Cody Pepper, he scored easily off left tackle. Blakely’s kick was good to make it 14-3.
“We worked hard. We pounded play after play,” said Bulldogs lineman Dylan Osborne, who was named homecoming king at halftime. “We got after it. We keep trying to get better game after game, pick up our blocks and pick up the little things. I just like the way we keep pounding. If we all catch our blocks we go for big yards. We never give up.”
Two 5-yard penalties and the Bulldogs’ swarming defense derailed the Rams’ offense on their next series.
North Caroline then drove 63 yards on six plays for its 20-3 halftime lead. Pepper rolled right and hit Saathoff crossing the field for a 13-yard gain on the first play. On a fourth-and-4 from the Rams’ 45, Bailey punted just after Parkside called a timeout. After the timeout, still in a punt formation, he took the ball and ran left through holes and carried defenders the final 10 yards to the Rams’ 6. He scored easily off left tackle. The extra-point try sailed wide right.
The Bulldogs continued to march on offense with a 62yard drive to open the second half, helped by a Rams’ facemasking penalty. Bailey capped the drive with a 9-yard TD run off left tackle, breaking through tacklers at the 4. He added two points the same way for a 28-3 lead.
North Caroline then completed a successful onside kick, but the Rams’ defense held, benefiting from a holding penalty, and the Bulldogs punted for the first time.
But Parkside punted after going two yards on three plays, and the Bulldogs responded with a 13-play 50yard touchdown drive.
“They’ve got big kids, they have physical kids, good athletes,” McCormick said. “We were just able to make plays and do what we were supposed to do.”
Pepper connected with a wide open Blakely for a 1-yard TD pass to open the fourth quarter. Liam Dowdall kicked the extra point for a 35-3 lead.
North Caroline’s Wyatt Gross added a 6-yard TD run through the middle and an extra-point by Blakely ended the Bulldogs’ scoring.
“We knew they were going to come out here, it’s homecoming week, and knew they were going to try to bust us in the mouth, but we had to do all we could, and I think the score showed that we did our best,” Bulldogs offensive lineman and linebacker Alex Eaton said. “They were big up front, but the more the game went on the slower they got, the weaker they got; we started pounding on ‘em.”
North Caroline’s Allan Saathoff is tackled by Parkside’s Jacob Koon to end a 13-yard passing gain in the second quarter Friday evening.