Battle of Backups Goes to Bulldogs

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The Athens Bulldogs diverted from their usual strategy of primarily utilizing the speedy DeVon Sharp when they travelled to Wellston to take on the Blue Rockets. Instead, they relied on the arm of their backup quarterback, Michael Germano, to lead an aerial assault on the Blue Rockets’ defense  resulting in a 36-7 victory for Athens.

With the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback, Josh Skinner, out of the game due to injury, Wellston decided to jam the box with defenders, hoping to contain the elusive Sharp and to pressure the inexperienced Germano into mistakes.

The Blue Rockets succeeded in limiting Sharp’s impact. The workhorse of the Bulldogs’ offense was held to just 42 rushing yards for the game. 

They did not see the same success in stopping Germano. The sophomore lit up the Rockets’ secondary for 182 passing yards and a 58-yard scoring connection with Nick Stanley.

The impressiveness of the underclassman’s precision was surpassed only by his poise under pressure. Germano kept several key drives alive early in the game with crucial completions on third downs.     

Wellston had a similar situation at the quarterback position. With the Rockets’ star quarterback Jaylen Prater injured, Wellston turned to backup Joey Young to go under center. 

Young was tormented by the Bulldog’s defense all night. The Athens defensive line dominated the trenches and forced the junior to rush throws. The quarterback threw three interceptions in the first half, including two to Tyler McIntosh.

Athens’ Skylar Schwarzel’s 71-yard touchdown run in the second quarter put the Bulldogs up 22-0 and put the game out of reach. 

The loss for Wellston puts the Blue Rockets out of contention for a playoff spot.  

With the win, Athens kept their undefeated season and their dreams for a TVC-Ohio title alive.  The Bulldogs essentially have guaranteed a position in the playoffs with the win. The Bulldogs will host the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes next week in a battle of unbeaten teams.  The winner will be crowned outright TVC-Ohio champion.