PHOTOS BY LISA McGINTY | LMc Photography
The Dalton Bulldogs defeated the Smithville Smithies Sept. 16 at McFarren Field 35-7.
By ZACH McFARREN
DGKN sports writer
DALTON Everyone was at McFarren Field on Friday night — all for a matchup of the undefeated Smithville Smithies and the 3-1 Dalton Bulldogs.
There was an electricity in the air for a game that these two storied rivals really hadn’t experienced in some time.
Dalton has owned this matchup for the past several years and Smithville was looking to right the ship while extending their perfect start to the season.
The excitement lasted nearly a quarter. Then Greyson Siders showed up and any suspense that existed vanished. Behind Siders’ five touchdown night, the Bulldogs cruised to a 35-7 victory, moving the Dawgs to 2-0 in the WCAL and 4-1 overall.
The opening quarter was neither an offensive show nor a defensive struggle. Two Dalton possessions ended in a fumble and a punt while the Smithies punted on their first possession.
On the Smithies’ second possession, Siders’ monster night began.
His pick six put Dalton up 7-0 with just under a minute left in the opening quarter. The junior’s defensive score seemed to ignite a sluggish Dalton offense, and from there, Siders and the rest of the Dawgs simply got after it.
On their next possession, the junior back accounted for 47 yards, the last of those being the first of his four rushing touchdowns of the evening. With Dalton up 14-0, the tide was slowly turning in their favor. Then Cade Mullet made sure the Dawgs would put this one to bed early.
Mullet’s interception gave the ball back to Dalton and Siders’ second score came shortly after when he polished off a 75 yard drive with a 26 yard run. Up 21-0, Dalton wasn’t quite satisfied. A stout Dalton defense put the Smithville offense in reverse, and after forcing a punt, Dalton’s O was at it again. With 16 seconds before halftime, Siders plunged in from a yard out and the lights were dimming quickly on a Smithie upset.
At halftime, this much anticipated matchup had lost all its luster. Coach Broc Dial was pleased with what he saw from his team.
“Our guys played hard and defensively, we really read our keys and pursued,” Dial said. And as for Siders, who ended with 140 yards on 17 carries and 5 TDs, Dial was quick to credit the line as well. “Our line did a great job of getting a hat on a hat and Greyson is running hard. Greyson took a leap forward tonight.”
Siders’ night came to an end when he bullied his way into the end zone from six yards out late in the third quarter. Dalton was up 35-0, the clock was running, and all was right in Dalton. A harmless Smithville score in a quiet fourth quarter put a lid on the scoring as Dalton held serve and once again showed why it is at the top of the WCAL food chain.
Sure it’s still early. Sure there is still a lot to prove. But Dalton is once more in the hunt for a league crown as the victory bell continues to ring.