TOLEDO – Swanton scored first but four straight touchdowns from Start put the Spartans ahead for good as the Bulldogs fell 34-13 on Friday.
Just a minute into the game, Swanton running back Michael Lawniczak broke free for the first time this season. He raced 49 yards for the score and Anthony Howard’s extra point gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 advantage.
The 49 yards on the touchdown were more than Lawniczak’s total yards in the opener against North Union.
However, Start reeled off four touchdowns between the 3:42 mark of the first quarter and 3:40 mark of the second quarter. Legend Tucker scored first from two yards out and the game was tied 7-7 after the first quarter.
With 11:05 left in the second, Seth Gray recovered a fumble in the end zone and the Spartans’ lead improved to 14-7. Devon Ragland then found Harris for a 43-yard scoring strike and a 21-7 Start advantage.
Caleb Coyne scored on a two-yard run with 3:40 remaining in the second quarter and Start was ahead 28-7.
Swanton tried to climb back into the game late in the half. Dylan Gilsdorf found Hunter Mix for a 28-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good and the Dogs trailed 28-13 at the half.
But for the second week in a row, Swanton did not score in the second half. Start added a fourth quarter touchdown for the final score.
The Spartans outgained the Bulldogs in total yards just 272-267 on the night. Swanton had 195 yards on 42 carries, while completing 6 of 14 passes for 72 yards.
Start had 37 rushes for 145 yards and was 6 of 11 passing for 127 yards.
Defensively, Gage Pachlhofer had an interception and Lawniczak recovered a fumble. Swanton had one turnover.
The loss is Swanton’s first non-league regular season loss since week 1 of the 2014 season against Springfield.
The Bulldogs will finally get a chance to play on their own field when they host Rogers Friday in the home opener.