FULTON — Relying heavily on the running attack, the Fulton varsity football team won its first game 39-6 over Fowler in Developmental League action Saturday in Fulton.
Fulton led 27-0 in the first half and cruised to the win in the season-opening game for both teams.
Fulton was led by Cyrus Trude and Cuinn Burlingham on offense. Trude scored three touchdowns and Burlingham found the end zone twice. Sam Cotton rounded out the scoring with a rushing touchdown.
Head Coach Craig Halladay praised the work of the Fulton offensive line paving the way for the backs.
“They did a great job tonight,” he said. “We wanted to focus on what we need to do, making our blocks regardless of what (Fowler’s) blitzing is. It’s easier to focus on us in the run game than it is to pass block when you’re not sure where guys are going to be running around.”
Halladay credited his offensive line for creating big holes in the defense.
“It’s not hard to run through a big hole,” Halladay said. “They’ve just got to see the hole, turn it up and run through it.”
While the offense was racking up points, the Raiders’ defense stopped the Falcons for most of the game, keeping them off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter.
Cole French was the spotlight in the defensive backfield with two interceptions, one of which was on Fulton’s 1-yard line that prevented a Fowler touchdown in the middle of the second quarter. May added one touchdown himself. Trude scooped up a fumble recovery in the beginning of the second quarter following a missed snap by Fowler.
With an increased number of players this year, Halladay said that his team is focusing on the base coverages for defense, making sure everyone is playing their positions and completing their roles.
“Fowler’s an athletic team. We worked hard on playing against an athletic team,” he said. “We were ready for everything. For the most part, I was pretty happy with our defense. We have to break down and tackle better in the open field.”
Following the game, the reserves for each team scrimmaged, since this game was originally slated to be a scrimmage.
Halladay called this game “week zero,” after Fowler and Fulton agreed to make this a league game for the Developmental League.
The post-game scrimmage was planned between Halladay and Fowler’s coach, John Natoli. It gave each team an extra opportunity to practice, especially for Fulton, which only had 10 days to practice before the game.
“It was a hard 10 days,” he said. “We had to get offense, defense, punting, kickoff, all the special teams ready in 10 days,” Halladay. “(Tonight’s win) was a tribute to how hard the guys worked. We got it all done and came out with the win.”
Fulton (1-0) plays Friday at Central Square in a non-league matchup.
“It’s going to be a very different kind of team,” he said. “I don’t see them running a lot of quads and throwing the ball all over the place, but they’re going to come out and punch you in the face and be physical. If we’re not physical with them, we’re going to be in trouble.”