Tuesday, December 10, 2013
STANDISH - Portland High has already won more football games than last year. But Win No. 3 was hardly a breeze.
Justin Zukowski bulled his way 10 yards for a touchdown in overtime to lift the Bulldogs to a 13-7 victory over Bonny Eagle Friday night.
Portland improved to 3-1, while the Scots dropped to 1-3.
Bonny Eagle suffered a loss earlier in the week when it learned that quarterback Tyson Goodale's knee injury may keep him out the rest of the season.
"That's a pretty big part of our offense," Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper said. "But that's football."
And the football played Friday night was a defensive battle. The first quarter alone featured six punts. The first half was scoreless.
"Good old smash-mouth football, the way it ought to be played," Bulldogs Coach Jim Hartman said.
A big play could mean the difference, and Bonny Eagle got the first one when receiver Joe Bissonnette broke free down the left sideline. Quarterback Zach Dubiel found him for a 46-yard score and a 7-0 lead with 6:14 left in the third quarter.
A penalty on the kickoff return had Portland back to its own 5. Then the Bulldogs fumbled, with linebacker Shawn Duane recovering on the 3.
"If we score there, I think we're going to win," Cooper said.
But a penalty moved the Scots back, and then a holding call nullified a touchdown on third down. A personal foul penalty pushed Bonny Eagle out of field goal position.
On fourth-and-goal from the 25, the Scots turned it over on an incompletion.
"We get a fumble and we're inside the 5," Cooper said. "Not only can we not punch it in, but we end up losing about 20 yards in the process."
Still, the Scots were containing Portland's offense until the Bulldogs got their big play.
On third-and-4 from the Bonny Eagle 39, receiver Garang Majok slanted to his right and caught a Ryan Ruhlin pass. Two defenders ran into each other and Majok found himself free.
Majok turned to his left and raced untouched to the end zone. Kyle Reichert's extra point tied the game with 6:42 left in regulation.
In high school overtime, each team gets a chance to score on four downs from the 10. Bonny Eagle went first, but on third-and-13, Dubiel's pass bounced off a receiver and Jake Fogel intercepted.
Zukowski went nowhere on first down, then burst through the middle, carrying defenders with him into the end zone.
"The linemen gave me a hole and I just walked in," was Zukowski's humble version.
Zukowski was soon swarmed by his teammates in celebration. The Bulldogs, 2-6 last year, are back in contention for a playoff berth.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: