ROSSFORD — Swanton fell behind early, then lost quarterback Cole Mitchey to injury before Rossford pulled away for a 55-7 victory in the season opener Friday night at Jackson Ferguson Stadium.
Rossford outgained Swanton 382-81 on the night with quarterback Alex Williams completing 8 of 10 passes for 140 yards and four touchdowns.
Following a Swanton punt on its opening possession, Rossford took over at the Swanton 34-yard line. Seven plays later, Trenton Bachmeyer punched the ball into the end zone from a yard out for an early 7-0 advantage.
Swanton again went three and out on its next possession and Rossford got on the board even more quickly. Williams found Ben Morrison for a three-yard touchdown pass with 3:19 left in the opening quarter. The extra point was no good and Rossford led 13-0.
On their next drive, a Mitchey to Lathan Pawlowicz pass gave Swanton a first down near midfield. But on third and eight from the 45-yard line, a run up the middle was stopped and the visiting Bulldogs were forced to punt.
The punt was returned for a touchdown, but called back due to a penalty on Rossford. A sack by Trenton Eitniear helped the Swanton defense force a punt and the visiting Bulldogs took over at their own 11.
A false start pushed them back to the six yard line. On second and 15, Mitchey was pressured, threw the ball away, and was called for intentional grounding in the end zone. That resulted in a safety and a 15-0 Rossford lead.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. Mitchey injured his ankle on the play and missed the remainder of the game.
The home Bulldogs started the ensuing drive near midfield and five plays later Williams found Ben Morrison for a 10-yard touchdown.
Starting with their next possession, Rossford blew the game wide open, scoring three touchdowns in the span of just 41 seconds. Christian Brown scored on a 27-yard catch with 3:54 left in the half, and Rossford recovered the ensuing short kickoff.
Williams then hit Jake Morrison for a 35-yard scoring strike just seven seconds after the previous touchdown. The Rossford defense followed suit as Carl Fitch returned a fumble 20 yards for a score and the home Bulldogs led 41-0 with 3:13 left in the first half.
In the third quarter, Justin Hire scored on a 7-yard run. Then Grant Eckel ran it in from 15 yards, putting Rossford ahead 55-0.
Swanton got an 8-yard touchdown run from Drake Harris to finish the scoring.
Hire led Rossford with 56 yards rushing. Trenton Eitniear led the Swanton rushing attack with 55 yards.
Swanton returns to Hansbarger Stadium for the home opener against Ottawa Hills Friday.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010