(October 10th, 2014)-MONTPELIER: On his second pass attempt of the game, receiver turned fill-in quarterback Cody Caudill threw an interception, ending the Locomotives first possession. Montpelier fans feared the worst, as they had been down this road before, and they expected another anemic offensive performance from their Locos.
Then, as Montpelier began its second turn with the ball, Dylan Snyder ran on the field.
Having missed several weeks due to injury, the Locos star quarterback made his return against Swanton on Friday night. And what a return he had, contributing 387 all-purpose yards against a solid Bulldog defense.
Those Swanton defenders struggled to contain Snyder, as he routinely avoided their pass rush and turned negative plays into positive ones. In fact, his 15 rushes amounted to 200 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game. He also had a good day passing the ball, completing 15 of 28 tosses for 187 yards. He also threw an interception, however.
Snyder’s herculean effort, as well as strong performances from fellow Locos Dallas Royer and Caudill among others, were for naught, though. While Montpelier kept pace for the first half, Swanton pulled away in the second, winning the game 64-31.
Most of the statistics don’t reflect that score, actually. Montpelier out gained the Bulldogs 544 yards to 427. Passing wise only five yards separated the two teams as Swanton’s 192 yards just tops the Locos 187. Rushing yards are where the home town Locomotives carried a strong advantage, 357 to 235.
Aside from Snyder’s 200 yards rushing, Royer accounted for a majority of the teams ground attack, gaining 127 yards on 12 carries. Caudill rushed for 22 yards on 8 attempts.
Caudill also was a vital portion of the Montpelier aerial assault, bringing down 9 receptions for 76 yards. With 77 yards on just 2 catches, Jared Lyons also made significant contributions to the Loco offense.
With such a powerful offensive display, one has to wonder how Montpelier was beaten so handily.
Special teams were not kind to the Locomotives, kickoff coverage in particular.
Montpelier allowed 187 yards and a touchdown on four kicks of the ball to Swanton. By comparison, the Bulldogs kicked off to the Locomotives six times, yet only gave up 46 yards and no scores. Starting on a short field is a great way to score points in a hurry, and with lesser offensive production than one’s opponent.
Swanton also found the edges of the Montpelier defense vulnerable as well. Running into the teeth of the Locomotive defense was like colliding head on with a freight train for the Bulldog runners, so they simply shifted their rushing attack to the outside, with much better results.
Montpelier may have lost this game, but they regained their quarterback in the process. That should help quite a bit when they travel to Archbold to take on the Blue Streaks this week.