By Doug Gorman
The Dutchtown Bulldogs improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Region 4-AAAA action with a 20-0 victory against Jonesboro Thursday night at Tara Stadium.
Despite playing in rainy conditions and on a soaked field, Dutchtown stuck with what has worked all year, a ground it out, running game that chewed up the clock and the Cardinals.
The Bulldogs ignored the wet conditions, didn't lose the football on a fumble all night and controlled the clock en route to the region win.
Dutchtown rolled up 216 yards of total offense, all on the ground, as the Bulldogs stayed undefeated and continued the the team's best start in school history,
"If it's not broken, why fix it," Dutchtown head coach Jason Galt said after his team's victory.
But it wasn't just the offense that clicked on all cylinders for the Bulldogs Thursday night.
It's defense pitched its second straight shutout and held the Cardinals to just 38 yards of total offense.
A week ago, Dutchtown also kept Stockbridge off the scoreboard en route to a 13-0 victory.
After opening the season with a victory against Morrow, the Cardinals have now lost two in a row to fall to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in Region 4-AAAA action.
Despite its tough night trying to get its offense on track, the Cardinals didn't lose the football on a fumble either.
But the Bulldogs set the tone for the game early, scoring touchdowns on their first two series of the game. Ryan Kay's extra points gave Dutchtown a 14-0 lead, and it held up through the first half.
Aaron Pinkney scored the first of his two TDs on a 14-yard run to cap the Bulldogs' 9-play, 64-yard drive to give Dutchtown the early first-quarter lead.
After holding the Cardinals to three plays on their first series of the game, Dutchtown got the ball back on the Jonesboro 42 yardline, and it took just three plays to find the end zone again.
Kelvin Tanner did the damage on the Bulldogs' second touchdown of the night as he rambled 35-yards on a third-and-three call.
Jonesboro had a couple of chances in both halves to move the ball toward the end zone after Dutchtown penalties kept drives alive, but the Cardinals weren't able to convert,
The Bulldogs ground attack was led by Tanner, who rushed for 94 yards on 12 carries and his one touchdown.
Pinkney had 55 yards on 7 attempts for Dutchtown and two scores.
For Galt, Dutchtown's fast start is a payoff to the team's hard work, including off-season weight training.
"They are believing in themselves," Galt said.
"We knew we had a lot of good football players coming back," he said.
"The way we played last year, and the games we were in, I knew we had a chance to be pretty successful."
The third-year Dutchtown coach admits selling his team on its two tight end, keep on the ground offense, wasn't easy.
"When you are a power football team, some times, its hard to convince these guys they can be successful," Galt said.
"They watch TV, and they see that spread offense, but they have bought into the weight room, and they know what we do is working. It was a tough sell, but now they believe."
Jonesboro's longest play of the night came when quarterback Alejandro Bennifield connected on a 41-yard pass to Cameron Sutton in the second half, but the Cardinals still couldn't convert.
Dutchtown is off next week before taking on Alcovy at home.
Jonesboro plays Alcoy next week at Tara.