HAMLER – Swanton hung on to beat Patrick Henry 23-22 Friday night and spoil the Patriots’ Homecoming celebration.
With the Bulldogs leading 23-16, Will Morrow scored from one yard out to cut Swanton’s lead to just 23-22. But the Bulldog defense stopped the two-point try and Swanton clung to a one-point lead with eight minutes to play.
Patrick Henry (2-4, 1-2 NWOAL) had one final drive late in the game but the Bulldog defense stopped the Patriots on fourth and long and Swanton (4-2, 2-1 NWOAL) ran out the clock for the win.
Swanton avenged a 35-28 loss to the Patriots last season that propelled Patrick Henry to the NWOAL title.
Morrow started the scoring in the second quarter with an eight-yard touchdown run. With the two-point conversion, Patrick Henry led 8-0.
Swanton answered when Michael Lawniczak found Anthony Howard on a halfback pass for a 59-yard touchdown strike. The kick failed and it was 8-6.
The back-and-fourth continued in the second, as Xavier Wensink found pay dirt and the Patriots led 16-6.
Swanton was able to respond before the half ended as quarterback Dylan Gilsdorf found Hunter Mix for a 21-yard touchdown. After Howard’s extra point, Swanton trailed 16-13 at the half.
The Bulldogs put 10 points on the board in the third quarter. The first came from Howard on a 19-yard field goal that tied the game at 16.
Swanton then took its first lead of the game when Gilsdorf and Mix connected for an 85-yard touchdown. The Dogs took a 23-16 lead into the final quarter.
Swanton had, by far, its best passing game of the year with 246 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bulldogs have a minefield of a schedule down the stretch, with three teams that are currently 5-1. It starts on Friday when Swanton travels to Wauseon (5-1, 2-1) for a league tilt.