MANCHESTER -- Bellows Falls ran 31 plays on its first two touchdown drives against Burr and Burton Academy on Saturday afternoon, compared to six for the Bulldogs on two 3-and-outs.
The efficient offense led to a 26-14 victory for the Terriers on Homecoming weekend at BBA.
"Bellows Falls is exactly what they show you on tape," said Burr and Burton (3-2) coach Jason Thomas. "They’re a tough, physical football team. They came out and just lined up and tried to pound it down our throat. They were successful for two series right in a row."
Bellows Falls (3-2) got the ball first and methodically moved down the field, converting three third downs and a fourth down before Carson Fullam punched it in from 14 yards out for a 6-0 lead.
BBA came out for its opening possession, running three plays before giving it back to the Terriers. They went on another impressive drive, this one of 15 yards, before Ethan Illingworth found David Dunbar on a fade into the end zone for a 18-yard score.
With the two sustained drives, BBA only ran 13 offensive plays in the first half.
"That’s our game plan every week, [how] we play football in Bellows Falls," said Terriers coach Bob Lockerby, whose team ran the ball 67 times for 281 yards. "We want to control the ball, we want to control the tempo of the game. Now you can do that sometimes and sometimes you can’t."
After another Bulldog punt, Bellows Falls drove down the field yet again and had first-and-goal at the seven. Two runs later, the Terriers were knocking on the door but two quarterback sneaks were foiled and the Bulldogs took over two minutes before the end of the first half.
"We got a huge goal line stand there and [were] able to punch one in," Thomas said. But the point is we just had to make some changes. We had some guys not doing their job and we had to move some guys around that were more versed in those roles."
Down only 12-0 at halftime, BBA gave its Homecoming crowd something to cheer about in the second half as they got on the scoreboard.
Starting from its 20, freshman quarterback Griffin Stalcup completed 5-of-7 on the drive, which ended on a Dalton Blackwell five-yard scamper to make it 12-7.
On the ensuing drive, the Terriers used another sustained drive, this one 11 plays, to up the lead again as Kyle O’Rourke powered home for a one-yard score with 20 seconds left in the third quarter.
BBA came right back. After two incompletions, Stalcup found Blackwell, who caught a pass over the middle and outran the defense for an 80-yard score as the third quarter ended. Blackwell ran for 31 yards and caught five passes for 103 yards.
"That’s what you expect from him. He’s probably our best football player and he’s a senior captain, he’s been around for a long time. He’s a playmaker. He’s got a nose for the ball on defense.and he’s just a warrior out there," Thomas said.
On the first play of the fourth, Bellows Falls fumbled a handoff and the Bulldogs recovered, but they couldn’t capitalize after Stalcup was hit and fumbled dropping back to pass.
"After the score, we get the fumble and you think things are going well and then we shoot ourselves in the foot," Thomas said.
With 9:57 left, Bellows Falls had one last long drive, one that encompassed seven minutes and ended with another touchdown pass to Dunbar to ice it.
"It’s just execution. They did their stuff better than we did our stuff," Thomas said. "They’re nothing flashy and we’re not trying to be either. We’re just trying to move it at a fast pace, but they executed their stuff better than we did today and that’s what it comes down to."
BBA faces Mill River next week on Friday night at Applejack Field.
Manchester Journal sportswriter Brandon Canevari contributed to this article.