DAYTON - Dayton's Hayden Fullerton plowed in from the 4 with 1:09 to play to ice the Bulldogs' 26-14 non-conference football victory over Enterprise here Thursday.
For a team that won exactly one regular-season game over the last two years, Fullerton's dive ran Dayton to a 2-0 mark on the year.
"I knew Enterprise would be a tougher game (than last week's 20-0 win over Stanfield)," Bulldog coach Dean Bickelhaupt said. "We played a better game (than last week). We still had a few mistakes that we need to limit. We're still lacking those starters (injured senior Joey Schlachter and sophomore Wyatt Frame), but those young kids are making plays."
The Outlaws scored on a 35-yard gallop from Marcus Lynn to grab a 7-0 lead with 5:43 left in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs answered on the ensuing possession. Dayton marched 69 yards in six plays with Fullerton scoring his first of three rushing touchdowns on a 20-yard run, but the Bulldog extra point hit the upright and bounced off. The Outlaws led 7-6 after one.
"These kids are starting to play through adversity (like hitting the upright)," Bickelhaupt said. "They keep playing hard and battle through it."
Bulldog quarterback Colton Bickelhaupt connected with a diving Isaiah Lambert for 31 yards to the Outlaw 1 on the Bulldog opening possession of the second quarter. Lowden Smith powered it in from there, Fullerton added the PAT and Dayton led 13-7 with 10:31 left in the half.
Lynn scampered for 24 yards on three carries and the Outlaws marched to the Bulldog 15 on their next possession. Lynn lost the ball on his next carry and Garrett Turner recovered for the Bulldogs to end the threat.
The Bulldogs got into Enterprise territory on their next three possessions, but came away empty.
Kroft Sunderland anchored a defensive line with a stop and a stop for a loss as the Outlaws got no closer than midfield the rest of the half. Dayton went to intermission up 13-7.
The first five snaps of the second half resulted in two touchdowns. Lynn ran 13 yards with the first Outlaw play from scrimmage, then broke a 57-yard touchdown romp on the second snap and Enterprise regained the lead at 14-13 with 26 seconds gone in the second half.
"He (Lynn) was really shifty," Bulldog linebacker Fullerton said. "We had a tough time containing him, but we pulled it off."
A Bickelhaupt-to-Fullerton pass on the Bulldogs' first play of the second half, resulted in a 39-yard gain. Bickelhaupt hit Turner for 18 more, and Fullerton capped the drive with a 2-yard plunge as the Bulldogs went back on top 19-14 with 10:53 left in the third.
The Outlaws coughed it up on their next possession and Dayton's Christian Warner fell on the ball at the Outlaw 47.
The Bulldogs returned the favor as Outlaw Jordan Wulff-Castilleja recovered at his own 40 to stop the ensuing Bulldog drive.
On the next Outlaw drive, Bulldog Kane Hackett dropped Lynn for a 5-yard loss and Sunderland forced an incomplete pass. Following a bad snap in punt formation, Dayton took over at the Outlaw 31.
A Fullerton reception for six yards, and a Fullerton run for 20, set the Bulldogs up first-and-goal at the Outlaw 5. But Enterprise stuffed the Bulldogs on four running plays and took over to run out the third-period clock.
Bad news came to the Outlaws before the end of the third when Lynn injured an ankle on the last play of the quarter and did not return.
To open the fourth, consecutive sacks from Fullerton and Sunderland forced Enterprise to punt from its own end zone. Dayton was flagged for roughing the kicker and the Outlaws had new life.
"Things got pretty shaky," Fullerton said. "We pulled everything together. We didn't want to be the team we were last year. We knew we had gotten better."
The Outlaws moved to their own 31 before Sunderland crashed the party and recovered an Outlaw fumble, the third fumble lost by Enterprise.
Again, Dayton gave it back as Bickelhaupt's pass was picked by Brock Hayes on the Outlaw 10.
Fullerton and Hackett combined to stop Cody Duquette for a five-yard loss and the Bulldog defense went on to force a three-and-out.
Following Bickelhaupt's 16-yard return of the only punt of the game, the Bulldogs took over at the Outlaw 25.
Fullerton carried four straight times and plowed in the clincher from the 4 to ice the 26-14 Bulldog win.
"I had to plunge it in," Fullerton said. "Without our big guys up front - our trench workers - I couldn't have done it."
On the night, Fullerton finished with 127 yards rushing, scored three times, and caught four passes for 92 yards.
"It was our line," Fullerton said of his game. "They are the best."
Smith ran for 17 yards and a TD for the Bulldogs before leaving with a possible broken arm.
Lynn, in three quarters, was the Outlaw offense as he ran for 183 of their 223 rushing yards.
"He (Lynn) is a good running back," coach Bickelhaupt said. "We weren't wrapping up. We'll go back to square one and work on our fundamentals. We've got to make those plays. The kid was a good back, but we still had him when we should've had him if we would've wrapped him up."
Bickelhaupt opened up the Bulldog aerial attack as he completed 9-of-14 passes for 169 yards.
"Our passing game looked pretty sharp," coach Bickelhaupt said. "We've been working hard on that and getting balanced out more."
Dayton takes its two-game win streak to a home non-league match with Weston-McEwen Thursday.
"It's been a struggle the last two years," coach Bickelhaupt said. "It's fun to see the progress in these kids."
Dayton 26, Enterprise 14
Enterprise 7 0 7 0 - 14
Dayton 6 7 6 7 - 26
Ent - Lynn 35 run (Denton kick).
Day - Fullerton 20 run (kick failed).
Day - Smith 1 run (Fullerton kick).
Ent - Lynn 57 run ( Denton kick).
Day - Fullerton 2 run (Fullerton kick).
Day - Fullerton 4 run (Fullerton kick).
First downs 10 12
Rushes/yards 42-223 40-189
Passing yards 27 169
Passes (att-comp-int) 7-1-2 14-9-1
Punts 1-31.0 0-00
Fumbles-lost 3-3 3-3
Penalties-yards 7-56 6-46
RUSHING - Ent: Lynn 18-183, Hayes 9-27, Denton 5-17, Dean 2-11, Wulff-Castilleja 2-4, Duquette 3-1, Team 3-(-20); Day: Fullerton 19-127, Smith 8-17, Lambert 1- (-2), Bickelhaupt 10-47, Hayes 1-1, Team 1-(-1).
PASSING - Ent: Hayes 1-7-2 27 yards; Day: Bickelhaupt 9-14-1 169 yards.
RECEIVING - Ent: Duquette 1-27; Day: Turner 3-35, Fullerton 4-92, Smith 1-11, Lambert 1-31.