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Springdale rolls through Apollo-Ridge

| Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, 12:12 a.m.
Springdale's #27 Sean Dugan stiff arms Apollo-Ridge's #01 Tre Tipton during the football game at Owens Field in Apollo on Friday October 5, 2012. Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch

Sean Dugan was a workhorse in Springdale's 24-0 Eastern Conference win over Apollo-Ridge on Friday night: He carried the ball 39 times for 236 yards and two touchdowns.

“I was ready to pound the ball behind a great offensive line,” he said. “It just feels great to come in here as an underdog and walk away with a huge win.”

Dugan said his 39 carries were the most he has ever had.

“He was awesome,” coach Dave Leasure said. “We knew we could control the line of scrimmage. Sean has the biggest heart of any running back in Western Pennsylvania.”

Springdale kicker Adam Winklmann started the scoring by making a 37-yard field goal. Springdale (4-2, 4-1) started the drive at the Apollo-Ridge 35 after Tre Tipton was stopped short of a first down on a fake punt.

With his team leading, 3-0, in the second quarter, Dynamos quarterback Jacob Helman capped a 13-play drive by plunging into the end zone from the 1-yard line.

Then it was Dugan's time to shine. The senior running back capped the first-half scoring when he took a handoff right and then made a sharp cutback left for an 11-yard score to make it 17-0.

Springdale held Apollo-Ridge (3-3, 3-2) to 66 yards and one first down in the first half.

Dugan, who has 994 yards on 127 carries this season, put the game out of reach when he took a handoff up the middle, broke six tackles and carried a defender into the end zone to make it 24-0.

Apollo-Ridge quarterback Jesse Zelonka was tackled at the 1 with no time left to preserve Springdale's shutout. The Dynamos blanked an offense that came in averaging 30 points.

Tipton, the Vikings' star receiver, was held to a season-low four receptions for 60 yards. The Dynamos' defensive line, led by senior tackle James Murray, hounded Zelonka throughout.

“A lot of people think Springdale football is dead. They're wrong,” said Leasure, an assistant at Apollo-Ridge last year. “There's a lot of pride in these kids. They showed that tonight.”

Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba said his team was outmatched in the trenches.

“They controlled the lines and pounded the ball,” he said. “You have to admire the way Dugan runs. He just runs so hard.”

R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.

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