Bloom-Carroll falters at Harvest Prep in surprising 38-16 loss

CANAL WINCHESTER — Since the start of the 2020 season, the Bloom-Carroll Bulldogs have walked off the field as winners a lot. So much so that it’s become the expectation for the program.They had lost only four total games in the previous three seasons, with three of those losses deep in the postseason and just one in the regular season. But now, for the second straight year, the Bulldogs started the year with a regular season loss, and for the second straight year it comes at the hands of the same team — the Harvest Prep Warriors.The Warriors got the best of the Bulldogs in the 2022 season opener, and on Friday night they thumped the Bulldogs again in Bloom-Carroll’s search for revenge. Harvest Prep ran for 298 yards and kept the Bulldogs in check as the Warriors pulled out the 38-16 victory.“It was dèjá vu again,” Bloom-Carroll coach Jeremy McKinney said. “We shot ourselves in the foot from the get-go.”The mistakes started on the opening kickoff for the Bulldogs (0-1). They received the opening kickoff from the Warriors (1-0), which was a short, high kick. But instead of fielding the kick, the Bulldogs’ returners let the ball bounce and the Warriors jumped on it and took possession at the Bulldogs’ 33-yard line. Eight plays later, the Warriors made the Bulldogs pay for the mistake and found the end zone with a two-yard run from Dez’mond Porter for an early 6-0 lead just four minutes into the game.Bloom-Carroll had only one drive in the first half that did not end in a punt, which was their first possession. The Bulldogs started on their own 35 and drove down to the Warriors’ 30 before stalling out. Treyton McKee came on and drilled a 40-yard field goal to get the Bulldogs on the board.However, on the Bulldogs’ next possession, the snap on a punt attempt sailed over McKee’s head and the Warriors took over at the Bulldogs’ 19. A few plays later the Warriors bumped the lead to 14-3 with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Porter to Elijah Brown. Porter was a one-man wrecking ball against the Bulldogs, as he also ran for 91 yards on 14 carries in the first half alone.“Defensively for us, six of the front seven guys are new starters, so we knew we were young up front and awfully wet behind the years,” McKinney said of his defense’s struggles up front, “and we didn’t get it done.”Late in the third quarter, though, the momentum appeared to be flipping toward the Bulldogs’ sideline. The visitors finally found the end zone on a deep 43-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Thanthanavong to Jayse Rockwood to cut their deficit to 22-9. And on the Warriors’ ensuing possession, Tristan Britch intercepted a pass attempt from Porter and returned it to the Warriors’ 23-yard line.But three incomplete pass attempts and a short gain on the ground caused a turnover-on-downs that gave the ball — and the momentum — right back to the Warriors. Harvest Prep drove 91 yards in nearly four minutes to take a 30-9 lead with eight minutes left to play.“That was crushing,” McKinney said of the stretch of plays.What really hurt the Bulldogs’ offensive effectiveness was the inability to establish their run game. All-state running back Dylan Armentrout was held to just 12 rush yards on six carries and did not have a rush attempt in the second half.“We have an All-Ohio running back (Armentrout) that we couldn’t get touches to, that’s a problem,” McKinney said. “So, we have to find ways to get (him) the football. That’s a Division I football player that we didn’t get enough touches tonight.”Bloom-Carroll scored its final touchdown with 4:04 left in the game when Thanthanavong — who finished 13 of 31 passing for 222 yards — threw a beautiful pass on a deep post route to Carter Cornelius for a 53-yard score to make it a 30-16 game. Harvest Prep then answered when Matt Saunders recovered and returned Bloom-Carroll’s onside kick attempt back for a touchdown.“We had a lot of dropped passes, a lot of missed tackles, the fundamentals,” McKinney said. “The good part is that’s the stuff you can clean up.”Week 1 updates:See how Fairfield County high school football teams fared FridayTaking it to the next level:B-C running back Dylan Armentrout commits to play at ArmyIt’s a calling:Being voted as a team captain is more than going out for the coin toss

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