The Boyceville football team has been down on their luck since their first game of the season on Aug. 18 after their first, and so far only, win over Chequamegon. Since then, they have been unable to realign and that was no less true against a tough Durand team, who came to Boyceville High School on Friday and took a 59-8 victory over the Bulldogs.

After using three first downs in their first possession to push up field, the Bulldogs (1-3, 0-1) turned the ball over to the Panthers (3-1, 2-0) at the 13-yard line. A slow-starting Durand team took 10 plays to finally reach the end zone. A good two-point conversion made it 8-0 with four minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

It was all downhill for the Bulldogs from that point on. One more touchdown and two-point conversion for Durand set their advantage at 14-0 as the first quarter came to a close. The second quarter was more of the same: Boyceville unable to find enough first downs to get within striking distance and Durand finding the holes they needed to break through for a string of touchdown runs. By halftime, the Panthers led 45-0.

The Bulldogs began the second half with an onside kick, which was successfully recovered. Boyceville now had good field positioning on Durand’s 46-yard line. However, on their initial first and 10 play after recovery, quarterback Jayson Gonzales threw an interception and put the ball back into the hands of Durand and two plays later, ran in for a touchdown to increase their lead 51-0 with 9:41 left in the third quarter.

Another three and out for the Bulldogs was another touchdown for the Panthers, making it 59-0 with 3:41 to go in the third. Now, the Bulldogs were thirsty for any sort of redemption. Gonzales finally got in sync with receiver Cooper Boesl who used a 16-yard carry, followed by a pass completion for another 8-yard gain to move the ball onto the 16-yard line. Next, Gonzales threw a pass into the end zone to Bryce Boda, who, while pressured by two Durand defenders, caught the ball for the Bulldogs’ first and only touchdown of the game. A short pass to Boesl on the next play gave Boyceville another two points, and the last touchdown of the game.

Gonzales’ finished up his first game as quarterback for the Bulldogs with 227 passing yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Boda led the Bulldogs in receiving yards with 127 while Boesl followed with 66. Brendan Sempf completed the night with 29 receiving yards. The Bulldogs tallied just 39 rushing yards with Ty Gundlach leading with 21 and Gonzales carried for 12 yards.

Boyceville continues conference play as they travel to take on the undefeated Spring Valley Cardinals (4-0, 2-0) this Friday.

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Laura covers local/prep sports as well as school-related and general news in Dunn County. She joined The Dunn County News in October 2016. She can be contacted directly at laura.giammattei@lee.net or (715) 279-6721.

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