Dawgs thump UDA


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HEGINS - If ever a football team needed a spark, Tri-Valley needed one in its Tri-Valley League contest against visiting Upper Dauphin on September 28.

Midway through the first quarter, the Bulldogs trailed by two touchdowns and their high-powered offense had been, well, to be kind, mostly offensive.

Then, as so often is the case, the needed spark came from the defense when Ty Waizenegger made the first of his three interceptions.

That led to the first of three straight first-half touchdowns that propelled Tri-Valley to a 54-21 victory over Upper Dauphin that improved the Dawgs to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the Tri-Valley League.

"We needed something to get us going, and that interception was big," Tri-Valley coach Mike Kogut said. "They really had momentum, but we are a resilient group, which we showed earlier this year coming back from 26-0 down to Juniata."

Three plays after the interception, the Dawgs broke through on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Miller to Hunter Harner on a third-and-8 to cap a three-play, 39-yard drive.

Before the quarter ended, Waizenegger had his second interception, and the Dawgs tied the score at 14 on a 5-yard run by Blake Bowman.

"It was nice to get that first touchdown on a pass because it allowed us to show we were willing to mix things up a little bit," Kogut said. "Obviously, the running game is our bread and butter, but we are looking for balance."

Late in the half, the Dawgs took the lead for good on a seven-play, 46-yard drive. A 12-yard run by Miller to make it 21-14 was a back-breaker. On the previous play, a high snap over Miller's head in shotgun formation set up a third-and-goal from the 12, and his pump fake froze the defense long enough for him to burst up the middle for the touchdown.

Upper Dauphin seemed poised to get the tying touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter, but the Dawgs stopped the 12-play drive with a 6-yard sack of Austin Weaver by Devin Masser on fourth down.

Going to the running game, Bowman scored on a 21-yard run to make it 28-14 and cap a seven-play, 76-yard drive.

Miller opened the fourth quarter with a 7-yard touchdown run, and 25 seconds later he scored from the 2 for a 41-14 lead. That score came on the first play after his 36-yard interception return.

Bowman finished with 19 carries for 138 yards, and Miller carried 12 times for 106 yards. Harner, who moved from wide receiver to quarterback in the fourth quarter, turned a third-and-3 scramble into a 55-yard touchdown run for a 47-21 lead after Trey Campbell scored on a 40-yard run for the Trojans.

For good measure, the defense sealed the deal when Tanner Coleman returned a fumble 45 yards for the final touchdown.

Upper Dauphin (1-4, 1-3 TVL) dominated early, as a bad snap led to a fumble and a 28-yard return by Ian Buffington to give the Trojans a 7-0 lead. They continued to press their advantage, as Cole Reed capped a five-play, 48-yard drive with a 23-yard run to make it 14-0.

But then the interception turned the momentum.

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