It was a tribute to old school football on Friday night at Wayne Gadberry field as the Sutter Huskies defeated the Gridley Bulldogs, 27-0 in a ground and pound battle that ended with only 12 passing plays.
With just under eight minutes to go in regulation Sutter’s Landon Cooper dropped back and first a pass to tight end Cole Fear. After making a swift move around a defender, Fear found himself just shy of the goal line. That’s when teammate Colton Dillabo came to the rescue and grabbed Fear to throw him across the goal line for the final touchdown of the game.
“That was probably my favorite play of the game by our offense,” Sutter head coach Ryan Reynolds said. “Colton (Dillabo) grabbed him (Fear) and spiked him into the end zone like a football, it was great,” he added.
After receiving the opening kickoff Gridley made it clear they had one strategy. Run the ball straight up the middle.
While it was a game plan that may have only gained the Bulldogs a few yards here and there, it kept the Huskies offense off the field.
Sutter would manage to force a Gridley punt and finally get its offense rolling. After long gains by both Cory McIntyre and Daniel Cummings the Huskies set up shop at the Bulldog 11-yard line.
That’s when Dillabo bursted through some tackles for his first touchdown of the night. After a successful point after attempt, the Huskies led Gridley 7-0 with 6:32 left in the first quarter.
The touchdown wouldn’t stop the Gridley coaching staff from chasing its game plan as the Bulldogs went right back to their smash it up the middle routine. After converting a few first downs it appeared that maybe the Bulldogs were going to be able to light a spark.
But the Sutter defense rallied for a sack and then a tackle for loss in the backfield.
After a quick first quarter (due to all the running plays) Sutter got back to work and was able to advance the ball down field, bouncing plays to the outside.
Cooper set up the Huskies for first and goal after he ran for 13 yards on a quarterback keeper. Then it was Dillabo again, punching the ball in for a 4-yard run to make it 13-0 Sutter heading into halftime.
“He’s (Dillabo) a great kid for us, a two-year starter and he’s really stepped up his game lately, I couldn’t be more proud of him,” coach Reynolds said.
Coming out of the break, Sutter got right back to work when Dillabo broke free for a 47-yard touchdown run.
“Our offensive line played great tonight, we had a few runs called back for penalties but they just kept at it and created holes for us all night,” Dillabo said.
The Huskies defense continued to stop the run and even made a few tackles for loss in the backfield. A few which were tallied by linebacker Mario Ayotte.
“We really stepped it up tonight, we let our coaches do the work and we just go out there and execute to the best of our ability,” Ayotte said. “This season is a grind and we’re ready for it,” he added.
McInytre led all Huskies with 131 yards, while Dillabo was right behind with 111 yards and three touchdowns. Cooper completed two passes for 61 yards and one score.
Sutter (5-1) will travel to Oroville next week, meanwhile Gridley (3-3) will host Las Plumas.