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Bridgeport slays Dragons; caps 10-0 campaign

October 30, 2010
By Tracy Watson

CAMERON - Goals are something that every team establishes before the start of a new season.

Head coach Rudy Vavrock's Bridgeport football team is no different, and Friday night his Bulldogs put the finishing touches on at least a few of their lofty pre-season expectations.

Bridgeport scored five touchdowns on its initial eight plays of the game and was never threatened as the Bulldogs completed running the regular season table with an impressive 55-28 victory over Cameron on a cold night at Dragon Stadium.

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Bulldogs 10-0

With the win, Vavrock's 'Dogs capped the school's first unbeaten season since 1974, finishing 10-0, kept themselves in the hunt for the OVAC Class AA championship and also guaranteed themselves a first round Ohio Division VI, Region 23 home playoff game next Friday.

In sweeping through the regular season, Bridgeport was able to pick up three "program defining" victories along the way with wins over perennial powers Wheeling Central, Weirton Madonna and Shadyside.

All accomplishments they had set their sites on coming into the season, but just a few of the many that still lie ahead.

Bridgeport will now await the final OHSAA computer standings to see who they will be hosting in the first round of the playoffs while Coach Jim Rogers' Dragons (1-8) will host Valley on Friday.

"Going 10-0 was a goal that was kind of quietly sitting there," Vavrock smiled. "We knew it was possible, but we also knew there was a lot of work to get done.

"We had a lot of distractions this week, but the guys played through it all and came out and played well. They have earned the right to play at home next week and that is just awesome.

"Playing that home playoff game is for the fans who came out and supported us all season long."

It took the Bulldogs exactly 12 seconds to being the onslaught Friday, following an onside kick attempt to open the contest. Chris Smelley went up the middle, broke a tackle and covered 55 yards for the first score at 11:48.

A Cameron punt following a three-and-out on its first possession set the Bulldogs up at the enemy 45. Again, the visitors needed just one play as Garrett Price went around right end to cover the yardage at 10:46. Price also added his second PAT to make it 14-0.

Bridgeport's longer drive of its initial three provided the third six-pointer of the opening quarter, but still took just two plays. After a first down completion for a stick-mover, Cole Smelley busted straight up the middle and took the ball 46 stripes for the touchdown. Price's conversion made it 21-0 even though the Bulldogs had possession of the football for just 1:03.

When all was said and done over the first 12 minutes of play, Bridgeport had scored five touchdowns on just eight plays and was enjoying a whopping 35-0 advantage.

The count grew to 49-0 at the break with Chris Smelley finding the end zone four times in the opening half and Price hitting paydirt twice. Overall, the 'Dogs racked up an amazing 437 yards of offense in the first two frames while holding the Dragons to just 63.

"The kids just really came to play (Friday)," Vavrock added. "We don't know who we will play yet next week, but when we find out we will begin getting ready for them.

"All we want to do at this point of the season is take it one game at a time and get ready for whoever is up next."

Chris Smelley finished with 10 carries for 204 yards and the four touchdowns in just two quarters of action for the 'Dogs. He now has 1,270 for the season.

Cameron broke into the scoring column with a nice drive to open the second half, capped by a one-yard burst from freshman Hunter Yoders.

With Bridgeport emptying the bench, the Dragons controlled the second half, outscoring their guests by a 28-6 margin.

"Congratulations to a very deserving group," Rogers said afterwards. "We have not seen a team like that all season long and it is not hard to figure out why they are one of the top-ranked teams in the Valley. They have it all.

"They don't do much unexpected, but you try to grab them kids and they just run away from you. My hats are off to them and I want to say that I really appreciate Rudy letting us move the ball in the second half, hopefully that kind of momentum will get us ready for next week."



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