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Poland finishes off East after delay

October 15, 2011
By JOE CATULLO JR. , Underthelights

POLAND - The Poland Bulldogs defeated the East Panthers, 21-7, in a game that began at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday and ended at 2:20 p.m on Friday.

In the first quarter, senior Jerry Lawman scored the game's first touchdown on a 5-yard run to put the Bulldogs ahead, 7-0.

Rain beginning to pour in the second quarter as the Bulldogs increased the lead to 14 after sophomore Tyler Evan ran 68 yards in the end zone. He finished with 110 rushing yards on 11 carries.

The Panthers, however, did not go away. Sophomore Rayshawn Johnson threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to senior Valentino Sewell to cut the deficit to seven.

Later in the quarter, the Bulldogs faced a fourth and eight with 2:53 remaining. Then, lightning hit Poland. The delay lasted for approximately one hour before the suspension hit.

Seventeen hours later, the game continued. Friday began with two timeouts and an encroachment penalty against East before a snap even occurred. The Panthers and Bulldogs each struggled offensively and swapped 10-yard punts.

After a five-minute halftime, both defenses stepped up in the third quarter and allowed no points.

The same story began the fourth and final quarter until 4:28 remained. Lawman ran his second score of the game on a 1-yard touchdown to clinch the game for the Bulldogs. He finished with 101 rushing yards on 24 carries.

"I'm kind of speechless," East head coach Brian Shaner said after the game. "We didn't show up with much enthusiasm (on Friday)."

Poland coach Mark Brungard said Friday felt like a "scrimmage".

"Everything was strange," Brungard said. "This win is for everybody, not just for us. Just got to hand it to our kids. Defense came out and played lights out. We were worried they were going to chuck a few because they did (on Thursday). We stuffed the run, and we established the run on our side of the ball."

Senior quarterback Colin Reardon injured his throwing arm in the second quarter and sat out the rest of the game. He wore street clothes and an arm sling on Friday. Brungard likes what he saw.

"Wolfe made some nice decisions getting his first snaps at quarterback for Colin being injured, and he did a nice job," Brungard said.

Shaner said the long delay "killed" the team.

"You never want to call a game; you never want to restart," Shaner said. "That wasn't ourselves in (the second) half. We seem to have a little bit more enthusiasm and executed better (on Thursday), but this team's resilient. We'll bounce back and play well next week against Lakeview."

Friday marked Poland's final home game. They travel to face Beaver Local on Friday and rival Canfield on Oct. 28.

East will play its last home game on Friday when they host Lakeview. After that, they conclude the regular season at Akron Ellet.