Culver drops to 0-2 after shutout by Stanfield
The Culver High School football team has struggled to be competitive in the first two weeks of the season.
In week one, the Bulldogs fell 43-6 to Weston-McEwen on the road. Then, this past Friday the Bulldogs fell 34-0 to Stanfield in Culver's home opener.
Still, first-year head coach Brian Silbernagel was pleased with the progress he has seen from his team.
"Guys, we are very close," he told his team following Friday's game. "It's the little things, right?"
For most of the night, the Bulldogs played solid defense. However, they gave up a handful of big plays, all on the outside.
Culver received the opening kickoff but were unable to move the ball and went three plays and out. Stanfield returned the punt to the Culver 45-yard line. Nine plays later they scored on a 19-yard run around left end by Hobtamu Hurty. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, but the Tigers led 6-0 with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.
Culver was quickly forced to punt again, but this time Stanfield muffed the punt and Jace Silbernagel recovered the ball on the 48-yard line. Just when it looked like the Bulldogs were going to get back into the game, Isaac Solis fumbled the ball and Brodie Braithwaite returned the ball 48 yards for a touchdown. Once again the two-point conversion attempt failed, but the Tigers led 12-0 with 3:49 still remaining in the first period.
Culver had the ball for the remainder of the first quarter, but after getting a first down at midfield, the Bulldogs were unable to move the ball further.
Culver punted to open the second quarter and Stanfield took over on their own 12-yard line. On fourth and 15 from their own 39-yard line the Tigers were forced to punt. The ball sailed over the head of Culver's return man and was eventually downed on the 22-yard line.
On the ensuing possession Culver had what was quite possibly their best possession of the night, moving the ball all the way to the Stanfield 30-yard line before finally turning the ball over on downs.
Two plays later Stanfield fumbled a pitch and Culver recovered on the 32. The Bulldogs drove all the way to the 10-yard line, before their drive stalled and once again, Stanfield took over on downs.
Stanfield ate up big chunks of yardage on the ensuing possession, moving the ball 88 yards on seven plays, finally scoring on the final play of the first half on a 1-yard run by Ryan Elizares. The two-point conversion was good and the Tigers went into the half leading 20-0.
Culver attempted an onside kick to open the third quarter, but the ball failed to go the required 10 yards. Stanfield took possession on the Culver 45 and scored 10 plays later on a 19-yard pass from Kaden Combe to Gator Goodrich. It was the only pass that Stanfield would complete all night. The two-point conversion was good and with 6:50 left in the third quarter Stanfield led 28-0.
Bulldogs quarterback Logan Macy ran for 10 yards on the ensuing possession. A late hit moved the ball to the Culver 38-yard line, but from there, the drive stalled and once again Culver was forced to punt.
Goodrich fielded the punt on his own 35-yard line and carried the ball all the way to the Culver 25. Three plays later Hurty carried the ball around the right side for an 11-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good and Stanfield held a 34-0 lead with 2:57 still remaining in the third quarter.
With Macy struggling to throw the ball successfully and running backs Gabe Wilson and Ethan Russo struggling against a stout Stanfield defensive line, Culver managed just 106 yards of total offense in the game.Macy completed just four of 23 passes for 39 yards and two interceptions. However, several passes were either just barely overthrown or dropped by Culver receivers.
Meanwhile, Wilson, Russo and Macy combined to gain just 67 yards on the ground in 22 attempts. Perhaps even more importantly, the Bulldogs had two fumbles in the game.
Defensively Culver had five tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries.
"On our defensive side it was there, it was really there," Macy said. :Personally I think we lost this game on Monday, because not all of our juniors were there, which if they showed up I truly believe that the score would have been different. Our defense was changed from last week. We were tackling a lot better. We were gang tackling. We were doing everything a lot better than we were doing last week. The only thing we needed was help on the outside when they were doing the sweep. And on offense we just needed to complete some passes."
Coach Silbernagel agreed that the team showed improvement from their first game.
"We did things well defensively we just have to get better on our edges," he said. "We just need to do a better job of containment. Assignment football. We have some younger guys in those positions and unfortunately that didn't go well for us tonight. Offensively, we had guys running open and we never helped our quarterback out. There were a couple of times when he should have run it, because he has the option to run it when he sprints out, and he was trying to make a big play when he could have just got the first down, but he's going to be a good player for us. We are almost thS 7 p.m. contest.
"I think we need to fix our leadership on the junior-senior side and we need to step up and show our younger players how varsity football works," Macy said of what the team needs to do to get ready for Friday. "It just needs to start off on the leadership side."
Stanfield 34, Culver 0
Stanfield 12 8 14 0 â€“ 34
Culver 0 0 0 0 â€“ 0
S â€“ Hobtamu Hurty 19-yard run. Isaiah Lemmon run no good.
S â€“ Bodie Braithwaite 48-yard fumble return. Ryan Elizares run failed.
S â€“ Elizares one-yard run. Elizares run good.
S â€“ Kaden Combe 19-yard pass to Gator Goodrich. Combe run good.
S â€“ Hurty 11-yard run. Combe run failed.
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