Otsego’s Chris Pearl (right) pursues South Haven running back Daymion Archuleta during the first half of the Bulldogs’ 35-28 win.

Bulldogs overcome shaky start to post win over South Haven

Jason Wesseldyk

A popular age-old adage tells us it’s always darkest before the dawn.
That was certainly the case for Otsego in its Wolverine Conference crossover football game with South Haven on Friday, Sept. 19.
On the heels of a 47-yard touchdown run by South Haven’s Daymion Archuleta on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, the Bulldogs found themselves trailing 21-7. But Otsego rallied to score 28 of the game’s final 35 points to claim the 35-28 victory.
A 14-yard scoring run by A.J. Atwater and his subsequent 2-point conversion with 4:43 remaining to play provided the winning margin for coach John Kubiak’s Bulldogs.
“I’m so proud of the way these kids continued to battle,” Kubiak said. “When we got down 21-7 there to start the second half, it was tough. South Haven definitely had the momentum in its favor and we could have hung our heads. But we didn’t. We just kept fighting.
“It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure. But it was a win and we’ll take a win any day.”
And it was an important win at that.
Now 2-2, the Bulldogs have a little more breathing room in their quest to reach the playoffs for a sixth straight season. Had they lost, they would have faced the prospect of needing to win all of their final five games in order to qualify for the postseason.
“Coming into this game at 1-2, we knew what the situation was,” Kubiak said. “Every game from here on out is critical for us. And it doesn’t get any easier from here. So we knew we needed this game and we found a way to get it done.”
And the defense was largely responsible for that win.

For full story, pick up a copy of the September 25 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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