Laurel 40, Riverdale Baptist 14
Photos: Laurel linebacker Kyle Thompson (top) and quarterback Andy Hartstein (below)
The Laurel High School football team found out what it's capable of when it doesn't make mistakes.
A week after committing five turnovers and 150 yards in penalties in a season-opening loss, the Bulldogs cut the turnovers to one and the penalties in half in an easy nonconference triumph.
Laurel blew the game open in the second quarter in rising to 1-1. Leading 7-0 on a 1-yard run by Jermel Horsey, the Bulldogs reeled off 20 points in the second period on a 3-yard run by fullback Jamin Pugh, a 41-yard return of a fumble by Kyle Thompson, and an 11-yard scoring pass from quarterback Andy Hartstein to Pierre Bagwell.
The Bulldogs increased their advantage to 34-0 in the third period when Tyler Downes recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Following two Riverdale Baptist scores, the Bulldogs closed out the scoring on a 60-yard run by Linwood Jenkins. Kicker Patrick Belle connected on five extra point tries.
"We knew going in that defensively we could do some things," said Bulldog head coach Mike Pugh. "We knew our offense would be a little later coming along because of the newness on the offensive line. We knew we were capable on offense, and last night we really cut down on the penalties and turnovers. The offense really got on track. We really focused on that (mistakes) that this week."
That wasn't easy given the turbulence of the week with the terrorist attacks cancelling practice on Tuesday.
"We've got a group of kids that really enjoy playing the game of football," said Pugh. "Even with everything goin on, they enjoy being out there together. With everything going on, it was like, 'Let's go do something we enjoy'. The kids responded well."
The Bulldogs finished with 392 yards of total offense including 239 rushing with 16 first downs.
Hartstein completed 6 of 11 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. Jenkins led the balanced rushing attack with 6 carries for 71 yards. Pugh and Horsey ran for 65 and 60 yards, respectively. Jimmy Hartstein caught two passes for 80 yards, Bagwell two for 44 yards, and Horsey two for 29 yards.
The Bulldogs travel to Dover on Friday, Sept. 21, for a 7:30 p.m. nonconference contest against Henlopen North power Dover.
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