In an amazing day of courage, Bulldog Junior Paongo, honored his father by going out and scoring 4 T.D.’s in a Bulldog win over the Sunrise Mountain High School Miners Saturday night in the Dawg Pound. The Paongo family and friends in mass attended the game after holding a funeral earlier in the day for Junior’s dad, Aki Paongo.
The emotions were high as the Bulldogs, led by Junior Paongo, entered the stadium carrying green flags in honor of the senior Paongo, who supported Bulldog football by racing around the stadium carrying a large flag during recent games.
The game began with each team committing turnovers in the first two possessions. The Dawgs fumbled twice once after an interception by Josh Bishop on the Miners 47 yard line. The Miners could not take advantage giving the Dawgs a good break attempting a first down on their 30 yard marker but were stuffed by the Bulldog defense. Two runs by Bulldog Q.B. Cody Jones set up Paongo’s first T.D. run from the 19 yard line. Jose Ramos’s point after was good giving the Dawgs a 7-0 lead with 2:37 remaining in the first period. The Miners would not waste any time responding, 18 seconds to be exact, to the Dawg T.D. by going 63 yards on a long bomb from Mathew Perry to Jamillo Whitten for six. Bulldog Kai Mitchell broke free and blocked the point after. The Bulldogs would respond 35 seconds later on Bishop’s 63 yard kickoff return to the Miners 8 yard line. Paongo would take it in for his second T.D. of the quarter. Ramos’s P.A.T. was wide as the Bulldogs lead stood at 13-6. The wild first period ending continued as Perry hit Miner running back Wayne Callahan on a 72 yard swing pass to the Bulldog one yard line. The Bulldog defense stiffened forcing a Miner timeout and a fourth and one from the one as the period ended.
Callahan would take it in on a keeper to begin the second period. The Miners P.A.T. was no good cutting the Dawgs lead to 13-12. It would take the Dawgs less than one minute to respond with Mitchell going in from the nine yard line. The big play of the drive was a 40 yard completion from Jones to wide receiver Tony Urias. Ramos kicked the extra point giving the Dawgs a 20-12 advantage. The Dawgs would strike again on a Nick Cox interception giving the Dawgs possession on the Miners 41 yard line. Jones then hit Keegan Biasi on a 27 yard pass setting up Paongo’s third T.D. run from the 11 yard line. The point after was good increasing the Dawg lead to 27-12. The Bulldog defense would take over holding the Miners on a fourth down pass with 4:28 remaining in the first half of play. Paongo would get his fourth T.D. of the night giving the Dawgs a 34-12 lead to end the half.
The Bulldogs opened the second half on a three minute drive with Mitchell going the final 19 for the score upping the Dawgs lead to 41-12. The Dawg defense held once again, giving the Dawgs the ball on their 34 yard line. Mitchel went wide for 33 yards followed by 32 yards from Bishop gave the Dawgs a first on the two yard line. Bishop took it in from there giving the Dawgs a 47-12 lead at the end of three periods of play. The fourth period was all reserves as Coach Yori Ludvigson emptied his bench. Bulldog running back Marcello Lara scored the final Bulldog touchdown of the game making the score 54-12. The Miners would score as time expired making the final score 54-18.
“It was a good game for us,” said Coach Ludvigson. “We executed well and our line play was outstanding. Our protection was good and our defense pursued well. We continue to get better each week.”
The Dawgs record went to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in Sunrise League play. The Dawgs travel to Desert Pines on October 2 in a Thursday night game before going to Moapa Valley on October 10.