Second half surge leads Broncos over Bulldogs
**Corrected to reflect receiver on Nederland’s second touchdown of the game.**
By Daucy Crizer
The News Correspondent
DAYTON – Nederland scored on all five possessions in the first half, but the Broncos held the Bulldogs in check most of the second half as Dayton came from behind to claim a 55-41 win in non-district action Friday night at Broncos Stadium.
Nederland (0-2) scored five first half touchdowns to take a 35-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. Dayton, who gained some momentum late in the first half, came out firing on all cylinders to start the third quarter and outscored the Bulldogs 33-6 in the second half.
“I’m real disappointed. I thought we had an opportunity to win the game and it got away from us,” said Nederland coach Larry Neumann. “The quarterback (Shaq Long) really hurt us all night, especially in the second half.
“I feel pretty good about our offensive production. The defense is a work in progress, and we knew that. We need to get off the field more when we get opportunities to. We had a couple in the first half, mostly self-inflicted, that kept their drives alive and that could have changed the complexion of the game a little bit more.”
Senior Shaq Long stepped in to replace the injured Hunter Hancock at quarterback for the Broncos and Hancock may not get his spot back after the performance Long turned in Friday night. He led all rushers with 227 yards rushing on 28 carries and two touchdowns. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 135 yards and two more touchdowns.
Senior Austin Krautz turned in another solid night running the ball for the Bulldogs. He finished the game with 172 yards rushing on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns. Senior Quarterback Mitchell LaBaron completed 16 of 32 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Connor Perkins caught five passes for 106 yards.
The Broncos started the second half scoring on their second drive of the third quarter. Dylan Moore took the handoff and threw the ball to LeGarious McQuirter for a 54-yard touchdown on the half-back option pass to pull the Broncos within seven at 35-28.
After the ensuing Bulldogs drive ended with a missed 39-yard field goal, Dayton tied the game at 35-35. Long carried the ball on all five plays of the 79-yard scoring drive, ripping off runs of 35 and 37 yards. He capped the drive with a 3-yard quarterback keeper.
Dayton (1-1) took its first lead of the game on the second play of the fourth quarter. On fourth-and-four, Moore took the hand off on a jet sweep and scored from 16 yards out to put the Broncos up 42-35 with 11:17 left in the game.
Nederland responded with its only scoring drive of the second half. The big play of the drive was a 39-yard completion from LaBaron to Perkins to give the Bulldogs first-and-goal. LaBaron called his own number two plays later on a 1-yard QB sneak. The extra point was no good to make the score 42-41.
The Bulldogs defense was unable to get off the field, getting called for defensive holding twice to keep the Dayton drive alive. The second defensive holding came on a fourth-and-11 play that gave the Broncos a first down at the Nederland 30. Jalen Styner would score on a 20-yard run to push the lead to 49-41.
Long intercepted LaBaron on Nederland’s next drive, but the Broncos had the punt the ball back to the Bulldogs. LaBaron was intercepted again on the very next play from scrimmage, this time by Dylan Moore. Dayton closed out the scoring four plays later on Styner’s 3-yard TD run.
“I told our players after the game that I still believe in them and I think they believe in themselves,” said Neumann. “We’ve played to tough opponents. We have enough on video to be optimistic about how good we can be, we just haven’t made it happen.
“It will start with me and our coaching staff over the weekend, trying to put our players in better positions where we get the desired result. We’re doing some good things on both sides of the ball. It’s not all bad. We know that. We’re just not getting the result we need.”
Nederland’s offense came out firing on all cylinders to start the game. The Bulldogs, who received the opening kickoff, put the game’s first points on the board with a 9-play, 89-yard drive.
LaBaron converted a big third-and-15 play with a 43-yard pass to Dean Fisher. An illegal hands to the face penalty on the Broncos added 10 more yards. Krautz did the rest with a 10-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs up 7-0.
After forcing a quick three-and-out by the Broncos, Nederland scored on its next possession. LaBaron hit Connor Perkins on a 24-yard scoring strike to give the Bulldogs a quick 14-0 lead. LaBaron connected with Krautz on a 30-yard screen pass to convert on third-and-nine to keep the drive alive.
Dayton got on the board on its next possession. Quarterback Shaq Long did most of the damage himself. He capped the five play drive with a 15-yard TD run.
The Bulldogs answered right back with another scoring drive, their third of the opening quarter. LaBaron hit Tavian Mayfield on a 10-yard scoring strike to make the score 21-6.
The Broncos responded on their next drive to open the scoring in the second quarter. Long and Moore connected on a 5-yard scoring play to cap a 10-play, 71-scoring drive to make the score 21-13.
Nederland again had an answer. Krautz scored his second touchdown of the game, this time from 33-yard out to push the lead to 28-13. The back and forth continued as the Broncos responded with Long and Moore hooking up again on a 19-yard scoring play to make the score 28-19.
The Bulldogs scored on their fifth straight possession of the opening half when LaBaron hit Perkins on a 53-yard scoring strike with 1:16 remaining in the second quarter to give Nederland a 35-19 lead.
Dayton was able to drive the ball down to the Nederland 20 before settling for a 37-yard field goal on the half’s final play to make the halftime score 35-22.
Moore also turned in a stellar night for the Broncos. He caught two touchdown passes, rushed for a touchdown and passed for a touchdown. He finished the game with 38 yards rushing on eight carries and caught three passes for 36 yards. Styner added 28 yards on 11 totes.
Dayton 55, Nederland 41
NED 14 21 0 6 – 41
DAY 6 16 13 20 – 55
NED – Austin Krautz 10 run (James Brindza kick), 8:25
NED – Connor Perkins 24 pass from Mitchell LaBaron (Brindza kick), 5:02
DAY – Shaq Long 15 run (Kick failed), 3:28
NED – Tavian Mayfield 10 pass from LaBaron (Brindza kick), 0:44
DAY – Dylan Moore 5 pass from Long (Hedil Cuatianquiz kick), 8:19
NED – Krautz 33 run (Brindza kick), 4:40
DAY – Moore 19 pass from Long (Kick failed), 2:56
NED – Connor Perkins 53 pass from LaBaron (Brindza kick), 1:16
DAY – Taylor Hall 37 field goal, 0:00
DAY – LaGarious McQuirter 54 pass from Moore (Kick blocked), 8:42
DAY – Long 3 run (Hall kick), 3:29
DAY – Moore 16 run (Hall kick), 11:17
NED – LaBaron 1 run (Kick failed), 8:41
DAY – Jalen Styner 20 run (Hall kick), 3:50
DAY – Styner 3 run (Kick blocked), 0:35
First Downs 22 25
Rushes-Yards 25-197 50-290
Passing Yards 277 189
Total Yards 474 479
Comp-Att-Int 16-32-2 11-18-0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 13-113 11-100
Rushing: NED, Austin Krautz 17-172, Mitchell LaBaron 6-21; DAY Shak Long 28-227, Jalen Styner 11-28, Dylan Moore 8-38.
Passing: NED, Mitchell LaBaron 16-32-2—277; DAY, Shak Long 9-16–0—135, Dylan Moore 1-1-0—54.
Receiving: NED, Connor Perkins 9-106, Dean Fisher 3-74, Austin Krautz 3-49, Reid Garrett 2-28, Tavian Mayfield 2-11; DAY, Dylan Moore 3-36, E.J. Hackett 4-56, LaGarious McQuirter 2-87.