Culver's strong second half brings win
Culver football moves to 2-2 overall after beating Weston-McEwen 27-16 Sept. 21.
The Bulldogs were down 16-7 at halftime, but shut down Weston-McEwen in the second half.
Culver scored first with a 25-yard pass from quarterback Anthony Hood to tight end Joe Russo. The made PAT put the Bulldogs up 7-0.
Weston-McEwen scored on a big run in the first quarter. The TigerScots ran a trap play and put the ball in the end zone and made a two-point conversion.
In the second quarter, the TigerScots were able to score on another run, and another two-point conversion put Weston-McEwen up 16-7 at halftime.
"Going into halftime, we talked to the kids and asked what was going wrong," head coach Jesus Retano said. "The two times they scored were on runs up the middle from missed tackles. We got on the kids a bit, told the defense to settle down and that is what they did. Weston-McEwen did not score in the second half."
"The defense flew around and made plays," he said. "When Weston-McEwen were down, they tried throwing the ball and were not successful like us. Everybody settled down and made the tackles they were supposed to make."
Culver came out in the third quarter with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Hood to Jordyn Vanalstyne. The Bulldogs found more success in the air with another big touchdown from Hood to Vanalstyne — this time a 50-yard touchdown. The score put the Bulldogs up 21-16 at the end of the fourth quarter.
"We practiced our pass game throughout the week," Retano said. "We told the kids that if we are going to win the game, we need to pass the ball. This team liked to load the box, with man coverage and no safety over the top. If our receivers could run past their guys and our QB makes throws, we knew the team would be successful."
Culver closed out the game with power runner Zach Wiseman. The Bulldogs gave the ball to Wiseman, running out the clock and getting chunks of yardage. Wiseman would score on a 25-yard run and put Culver up 27-16.
After the touchdown, Culver kicked the football, which bounced off a TigerScot returner, recovered by Culver. The kick recovering sealed the game for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs defense held strong and Culver won their second straight game in a row.
Hood finished the game 6-for-14, with 220 yards and three touchdowns in the air.
Wiseman led the team in rushing yards, with 85 yards and a touchdown. He also led the team in tackles with 11. Vanalstyne had two receiving touchdowns and Russo had one.
"Hood stepped up and dropped some dimes," Retano said. "You can watch on film the throw to Vanalstyne in stride, with a defender right behind him. It was a perfect ball. I think Anthony (Hood) had a big game and we knew he would have to if we were going to win the game and that is what he did."
"Our receivers did a great job," he said. "They ran by defenders, made good routes and executed the game plan."
"We have more confidence in ourselves than we had in the first two games," Retano said. "After Rogue River, we had a close game and I think the kids realized we could win games. They started to figure out they were a good football team."
"They are showing mentality in practice that they want to win," he said.
Culver plays No. 7-ranked, 4-0 Santiam at home Sept. 28, at 7 p.m.
"We need to be disciplined and play our best football," said Retano. "Santiam is going to be the best team we are going to face. We need to minimize our mistakes, play the game of football and execute our game plan."