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Bulldogs top Grand View 28-21 in OT Thriller

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In Drake football history, there have been a total of three overtime games. The third was last Saturday. The Drake Bulldogs faced off against the Grand View Vikings, their Des Moines rivals. The Bulldogs scored with eight seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime, then edged the Vikings in the extra period to earn their first win of the season, 28-21.

The Bulldogs played in front of an enormous showing of 4,215 fans. The stands revealed an impressive array of blue and white.

The Bulldogs came out strong in the first quarter, scoring at the 8:51 mark on a five-yard run by fifth-year senior Patrick Cashmore. Grand View responded with two touchdowns to capture the lead.

When the Vikings scored for the second time, Drake replied with a 70-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski to senior wide receiver Drew Blackmon.

“We struggled mightily getting into the end zone,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “We’re not going to like watching this game’s film.”

The Bulldogs and the Vikings remained at a standoff during the third quarter, both achieving no score, ending the quarter with a tie game of 14-14. Grand View scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to jump ahead 21-14. Piatkowski tossed his game-tying 10-yard touchdown to senior Nathan Paddock.

Drake came out strong in overtime and scored on its first possession. Blackmon scored for the second time on an 11-yard pass from Piatkowski. During the Vikings’ overtime possession, sophomore linebacker Travis Merritt forced a fumble that was recovered by junior Dustin Davis.

“We had a game plan all week,” Piatkowski said. “It just wasn’t executed until the first drive and the last drive.”

Drake’s first overtime game was Oct. 12, 2002, and the team edged Albany 49-42. The next was Oct. 25, 2003, in which Drake lost 51-45 at Valparaiso.

Piatkowski had 333 yards passing, the second highest yardage-total of his career. He now has 4,527 yards passing in his career and moves past Jeff Martin into fifth on the Drake all-time passing list. Martin, Drake’s wide receivers coach, played for the Bulldogs from 1973-1976. He ended his career with 4,365 yards passing.

Blackmon had two touchdown receptions and ended the game with 118 yards receiving.

“Blackmon and I have a great connection together,” Piatkowski said. Both seniors, Blackmon and Piatkowski have been playing together for the last four years.

Junior Joey Orlando and Paddock followed Blackmon with the second and third most receiving yards on the team, respectively.

The defense also made great plays. Merritt had five tackles and senior David Witkiewicz had five tackles and a sack. Fifth-year senior Jeff Grovak had six tackles.

Piatkowski is satisfied with the victory but knows there is plenty of room for improvement.

“We’re going to take the season one step at a time and be ready for Missouri S&T next Saturday,” he said.

Get ready for the next game

Saturday, Sept. 17

VS Missouri S&T

Drake Stadium, 6 P.M.

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