Montevallo stays perfect, moves to 5-0
Published 11:06 pm Friday, September 18, 2015
By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor
MONTEVALLO – Another week, another win for the Bulldogs from Montevallo. It took a little bit of time for this offense to get going on Sept. 18 against a big, bruising visiting Sipsey Valley team, but thanks to a defense that held when it mattered most and an offense capable of coming up with big plays when need, Montevallo walked away victorious on Homecoming night at Theron Fischer Stadium to get to 5-0 for the first time in over 50 years.
The game started out slow enough with Montevallo taking first possession and promptly going three and out before Sipsey Valley fumbled on its second play from scrimmage in the first of what turned into four turnovers on the night for the Bears. The first quarter was a back and forth affair as Montevallo couldn’t find its footing, either on the ground or through the air in the early going, and both teams headed into the second quarter deadlocked 0-0.
Part of the problem Montevallo was facing running the ball was the fact Sipsey Valley had a dumpster truck disguised as a linebacker in Travis Sailo roaming the middle of the field. Salio is, to put it lightly, huge. Listed at 6-foot-2-inches, 241 pounds but looking every bit the side of a barn door on wheels, Sailo, who holds an offer from Mississippi State according to 247sports.com, gobbled up run after run up the middle with the help of a formidable defensive front.
In the second quarter, after barely moving the ball the first 18 minutes of the game, Montevallo quarterback Zac Oden found Daqwan Bryant and Ahmad Edwards on back-to-back passes, which were followed with an Undreaz Lilly 22-yard romp for the game’s first score, moving the ball 80 yards in five plays, and the Bulldogs led 7-0 with six minutes left in the half.
The Bulldogs got the ball back around midfield with one minute left in the half and began to move the ball more effectively and consistently than it had all game. Oden found Lucas Smith on a big third and long play for a first down conversion before connecting with Edwards for a 16-yard score with 33.3 seconds left in the half to take a 14-0 lead into the break.
Sipsey Valley came out of the break with a new strategy, give the ball to Sailo and let him run over whoever stood in front of him. After the game, Montevallo head coach Andrew Zow smiled ruefully when talking about trying to tackle Sailo, offering, “It was like trying to tackle your dad when you’re five years old.” The big man couldn’t do it all himself though, and on the opening drive of the half, after running three straight times for 42 yards total, began to tire, and fumbled inside the Bulldog 10-yard line, shifting all the momentum in the home team’s direction.
After a penalty set the Montevallo offense back to its own 16-yard line, the Bulldogs faced second and 27. Bryant worked toward the middle of the field on the ensuing play, and Oden hit him in the numbers, Bryant spun out of a tackle and galloped 84 yards for his first score of the game, making the score 21-0 in the third, which was the final.
“We battled tonight,” Zow said after the game. We came away with the victory tonight, and we’re proud of our guys for getting that done. (Sipsey Valley No.) 57 was tough up front, No. 7 (Sailo) was tough all night, we just had to get the ball to our athletes and make plays and methodically get through this game. Defensively we just had to bend, but not break. We’re proud of our guys for this effort for sure.”
Oden finished the game 11-28 for 237 yards and two touchdowns while Lilly carried for 54 yards and a score on nine touches and Bryant had four receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown to lead the offense. Edwards and TreShawn Brown both led the way for the defense with eight tackles.
Montevallo moves to 5-0 and will travel to Ashville next week on its quest to stay unbeaten.