by Rob Tetro
Jeff Rothrock couldn’t have asked for a better way to begin his tenure as head coach of the Fulton varsity football team.
Led by Mark Pollock, the Raiders cruised to a 40-12 win against Fowler last Friday.
Fowler began the game by receiving the opening kickoff. During Fowler’s first possession of the game, the Raiders’ defense was aggressive attacking the line of scrimmage. Fowler was forced to punt following a three-and-out opening possession.
Pollock returned the punt 50 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 10:12 left in the first quarter.
Early on, Fowler attempted to spread the field on offense. It appeared wanted to utilize its team speed. However, Fulton was just as fast, if not faster. Fowler got little out of its second drive of the game and were forced to punt.
Though Pollock didn’t duplicate his previous punt return, he was poised to strike again. A few plays into the drive, the Raiders were deep in Fowler territory but faced a fourth-down play. Fulton quarterback Jacob Crucitti took the snap and dumped off a quick screen play to Pollock. Pollock caught the ball and juked left and found a seam to the endzone. Crucitti’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Pollock gave Fulton a 14-0 lead with 6:23 left in the first quarter.
On offense, Fulton spent a lot of time in the shotgun, spreading the field. Its offensive line created holes for Pollock while protecting Crucitti.
Crucitti and Pollock impressively complimented each other during the numerous zone option read plays that were called. If the seam was there for Crucitti, he faked the handoff to Pollock and got nice yardage. If there wasn’t any room to run, Crucitti handed the ball of to Pollock, who didn’t disappoint.
Fowler got its offense moving during its third possession of the game. Despite driving in Fulton territory, Fowler fumbled the ball back to the Raiders with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
It seemed as if Fulton was poised to expand its lead. Pollock began the drive with a 30-yard run. Despite nearing the goal line, however, Fowler stopped Fulton on downs with 2:24 left in the first quarter.
After using multiple sets of formations, mostly in the shotgun, Fowler made a few adjustments. It moved its quarterback under center and added a player or two along the offensive line.
Late in the first quarter, Fowler put together a nice drive, which featured a couple of solid runs up the middle of the field. Despite the promising start to the drive, Fowler fumbled the ball back to Fulton.