POLAND — In a match up of long time rivals, the Poland Bulldogs survived a late Struthers comeback attempt, winning 31-28.
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Bob DeVito capped off a 59 yard drive in the first quarter with a 35 yard field goal to get the Bulldogs on the board.
But, the Wildcats came right back. Luke Witkowski broke free on a 53 yard touchdown run with 1:39 remaining in the quarter to give Struthers a slim lead.
Poland, however, answered. Star quarterback Jake Wolfe scored on a big run of his own, 61 yards, for the touchdown to regain the lead, 10-7.
The Bulldogs would then capitalize on a Struthers mistake to extend their lead. Following a Wildcat turnover, Marlon Ramirez took the ball 26 yards for a touchdown, pushing the lead to 17-7.
In the fourth quarter, Poland would drive 50 yards, capped off by a Ross Gould 19 yard touchdown run giving the Bulldogs the 24-7 lead.
Refusing to give up, the Wildcats mounted a drive of their own, going 73 yards in a short time finished off when Gary Muntean hit Nick Pollifrone for a 49 yard touchdown pass to bring the ‘Cats back within 10.
Poland would strike again in the fourth when Austin Wilson scored from eight yards out to give the Bulldogs a comfortable 31-14 lead.
However, the ‘Cats kept fighting. Witkowski would punch it in from three yards out to get back within two scores, 31-21 with 3:37 remaining in the game.
On the ensuing kick-off, the Wildcats recovered their on-side kick on the Poland 47 yard line. A Muntean pass to Cameron Suchora resulted in a 21 yard touchdown pass with only three minutes to go in the game as the Wildcats got within a field goal.
The Struthers defense would force a Poland punt late in the game, but could not capitalize on the opportunity, falling to Poland 31-28.
Poland will travel to Howland next week.
Struthers will host Beaver Local on Friday night.