Lawson’s Class 2 title defense was short lived as the Trenton Bulldogs upset the Cardinals 29-22 at home in a Class 2 first round match up.
Special teams played the biggest part in a game that didn’t feature a lot of offense due to rain and high winds that gusted up to 45 mph during the game.
It was Lawson that took advantage of special teams early with the wind at their backs in the first quarter. A couple of poor punts by the Bulldogs gave the Cardinals good field position, but they could not cash in.
On the Bulldogs’ third possession, they fumbled the ball and the Cardinals were in business at the Bulldog 21 yard line. On the next play Lawson running back Ethan Deardeuff found the end zone to give the Cardinals the early lead.
Another poor punt on the next possession again gave the Cardinals great field position at the Bulldog 39-yard line.
Four plays later, running back Devin Mellon broke a couple of tackles and rumbled 29 yards for the touchdown. Deardeuff tacked on 2 points with a run and it was 15-0 early in the second quarter.
On Trenton’s next possession, the offense would find its feet. Quarterback Ethan Bunnell found Kameron Alley for a 58-yard bomb to put the Bulldogs on the board.
On Lawson’s next possession the wind would start to become a problem, and a poor punt gave the Bulldogs the ball back at midfield. A long run by Dylan Robinson and a facemask call on Lawson gave the Bulldogs a first and 10 at the Cardinal 15-yard line. A 1-yard run by Bunnell pulled the Bulldogs within two but the conversion failed.
Lawson, content with a two-point lead, ran the clock out to end the half.
After the half both teams’ offenses turned the ball over on back-to-back fumbles, but again the Bulldogs’ special teams unit came up with a big play by blocking a Cardinal punt giving the Bulldogs a first down at the Lawson 16-yard line.
A couple of plays later, Trenton had their first lead of the game with less than 8 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Lawson offense would get it going driving down to the Trenton 15-yard line, but a batted ball on fourth down would turn the ball back over to the Bulldogs.
With the wind at their backs and time running out in the third quarter, the Bulldogs surprised Lawson with a punt on third down of 75-yards pinning the Cardinals down to their own 7-yard line.
The Cardinals’ offense would show some guts and retake the lead on a 63-yard touchdown run by Zac Mathews. The extra point would give Lawson a one point lead with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
The Bulldog offense wasn’t done however, converting two fourth down plays to keep the drive alive. Bunnell would end the drive with his second touchdown pass, this time for 34 yards to Ryan Wade.
Deardeuff converted his second two-point conversion and the Bulldogs had a touchdown lead with four minutes and 20 seconds left in the game.
Officials then removed the teams from the field for nearly an hour due to lightning.
After the delay, Trenton would use one more special teams play to ice the game when the onside kick was recovered on the first play after the delay.
Trenton will now move on and face Maryville on Monday night.
PHOTO: Lawson fullback Devin Mellon is off to the races as he scores the Cardinals second touchdown of the night on a 29-yard burst. The Cardinals fell at home to Trenton in the Class 2 Sectional Wednesday night. (Photo by Dennis Sharkey/The Daily News.)