ROSSFORD – Rossford put the clamps down on Swanton’s offense Friday night as the visiting Bulldogs fell 34-14 in the season opener. Swanton’s offense was held scoreless with their touchdowns coming on special teams and defense.
The Swanton defense played relatively well, but Rossford quarterback Kyle Kromenacker made enough plays. He threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 62 yards and another score for the home Bulldogs.
Swanton got the ball to start the game and proceeded to drive into Rossford territory with the help of a fake punt run by Devon Crouse. But the drive stalled at the Rossford 40-yard-line when they fumbled on fourth down.
Rossford took over and put together a 12-play scoring drive that was aided by a pass interference call on fourth and 11. Kromenacker found Trent Backmayer for a touchdown on second and goal from the 22-yard-line.
The teams traded punts with Swanton pinned deep in Rossford territory. Swanton quarterback Andrew Thornton narrowly avoided a safety on third down, but the difficult field position meant Rossford began their next drive at the Swanton 20.
An 18-yard run by Kromenacker got them to the 2 and Bachmayer punched it in from there for a 14-0 Rossford advantage with 11:04 left in the second quarter.
Swanton struck back in the blink of an eye. Josh Vance took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to the end zone for Swanton’s first touchdown of the season. The Riley Hensley extra point cut the lead to 14-7 with 10:49 left in the second.
Both teams struggled offensively for most of the rest of the quarter, but Rossford put a drive together late. On a third and goal with 45 seconds left, Kromenacker found Dylan Prater for an eight-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead that they took into halftime.
An 11-play drive for Rossford to start the second half ended with a Lukas Klotz touchdown reception and the home Bulldogs were beginning to pull away.
Swanton began to put together a drive on the next possession, keyed by a 25-yard run by Tyler Gowing, but the Rossford pressure proved too much and sacks forced a turnover on downs.
Kromenacker’s fourth quarter touchdown run then pushed the Rossford lead to 34-7.
Rossford recovered the squib kickoff and looked like they could add to the lead. But Trent Weigel took the ball from Rossford and raced 66 yards for a Swanton score, cutting the lead to 34-14.
With time winding down the Swanton offense nearly found the end zone. Thornton found Hensley down to the Rossford 14, but Swanton was stopped just short of the goal line as time expired.
Crouse added an interception for the Swanton defense.
Swanton will be on the road again Friday when they travel to South Toledo to take on Bowsher (1-0).
Reach Patty Stambaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org