Falcons too much for Bulldogs in season finale

Published 10:42 pm Friday, October 22, 2010

Lake Mills' Royce Byrnes runs into the end zone during the first quarter Friday against Aplington-Parkersburg. -- Andrew Dyrdal

LAKE MILLS, Iowa — The Aplington-Parkersburg Falcons football team set the tone early Friday at the Lake Mills Bulldogs.

The No. 3 Falcons scored within the first 80 seconds for six of their 41 first half points, all part of a 52-14 rout of the Bulldogs in their season finale.

The Bulldogs kept the game close for much of the first quarter.

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After touchdown runs by Brandon Simpkins and Jake Everts of 38 and three yards, respectively, the Bulldogs found themselves down 14-0 with no offensive momentum.

The Bulldogs punted or turned the ball over on their first three possessions but caught a break late in the first quarter after the Falcons fumbled the ball deep in Lake Mills territory.

The Bulldogs recovered the fumble and scored five players later off a Royce Byrnes run on second-and-goal at the seven-yard line.

Byrnes went untouched in the end zone and celebrated with teammates as the Bulldogs cut their deficit to 14-7.

On the ensuing drive, the Falcons moved the ball easily with runs of 18, 18 and 24 yards — part of 449 rushing on the night. A four-yard touchdown run by Dylan Bellows on first-and-goal put the Falcons up 20-7, but the Bulldogs responded again.

This time, Lake Mills didn’t need a turnover to move down the field.

Byrnes rushed for 19 yards on the second play of the drive setting up the Bulldogs with first down at their own 42-yard line. Three more positive rushing plays moved Lake Mills to first-and-10 at the Falcons’ 33-yard line.

After two incomplete passes and a three-yard run, the Bulldogs faced fourth-and-seven at the 30-yard line. Lake Mills opted to go for it and cashed in as Byrnes passed to Bryan Hengesteg for just shy of the end zone.

Hengesteg caught the ball with a defender at his back, turned and jumped across the goal line narrowing the Falcons lead to six points at 20-14.

That’s all the Bulldogs’ offense could muster, though, as the Falcons scored 32 unanswered points.