DAYTON — Dayton survived a one-hour lightning delay here Thursday night in order to open its 2013 football season, but the Bulldogs did not survive McLoughlin High’s Chase Copenhaver.
The Pioneer quarterback ran for 142 yards and scored three times to lead Mac-Hi to its second consecutive win with a 28-0 win over the Bulldogs.
“Chase at quarterback and free safety for us — talk about a cog,” Pioneers coach Tim Hutchison said. “And the rest of the guys did what they were supposed to do.”
“He’s a player,” Bulldog coach Dean Bickelhaupt said of Copenhaver. “There aren’t too many like that around.”
Dayton mounted the first threat of the game as it took the opening kickoff and marched to the Pioneer 4 yard line. A 30-yard burst by freshman running back Ben Kleck spearheaded the drive.
But on third-and-goal, Mac-Hi’s Manuel Calvillo dragged Dayton’s Lowden Smith down at the Pioneer 17, and the Bulldogs only got six yards on fourth down as Mac-Hi held and took over.
Oliva broke a 61-yard scamper to the Bulldog 24, and after a motion penalty, Copenhaver scored his first TD on a 29-yard run.
Beau Birdwell added the first of his four consecutive extra points as Mac-Hi took a 7-0 lead with 3:30 left in the first quarter.
The Pioneers forced the Bulldogs to cough up the football on the ensuing kickoff, and Mac-Hi came up with the loose ball at the Dayton 36.
Copenhaver threw to Jacop Chaney for 24 yards and Copenhaver went in from the 12 for a 14-0 Mac-Hi lead.
Dayton mounted the only scoring threat of the second period as the Bulldogs moved from its own 44, behind the 31 rushing yards of Smith, to the Pioneer 20 with 11 seconds left.
Then Smith, on the halfback pass, hit a diving Zach Waggoner at the 5, but the clock ran out and the Bulldogs got no closer.
“We’ve got to get those kids to finish,” Bickelhaupt said. “I was pleased with the way we moved the ball, we just couldn’t get it in the end zone.”
“We bent, but didn’t break on defense,” Hutchison said. “That was the key.”
Mac-Hi took the second-half kickoff and marched 65 yards in eight plays, all on the ground, as Miguel Rodriguez broke around left end for the final 13 yards and a 21-0 Mac-Hi lead with 8:08 left in the third.
The Pioneer defense, led by Jacob Podolski’s sack, limited the Bulldogs to six offensive plays and a punt in the third.
“We weren’t firing off in the first half, maybe the rain delay or whatever it was,” Hutchison said. “We let them know in the locker room that that’s not the way we play football. They got excited.”
The Pioneers moved to the Bulldog 10 to open the fourth quarter.
Dayton’s defense rose to the occasion as it forced a fumble, and Guy Spalinger recovered for the Bulldogs at the Dayton 8 to turn away the Pioneers.
Copenhaver set up the last Pioneer score of the game with a 38-yard punt return, and a Dayton penalty added 15 more yards as Mac-Hi went to work at the Dayton 32. Rodriguez went for six, Copenhaver went for 19, and Copenhaver finished his night with a seven-yard burst to pay dirt.
Both teams were at less than full strength as the Pioneers played with a limited Birdwell (a shoulder injury) and without rusher Jeffrey Jones (knee).
“Our sophomore (Rodriguez) was able to step right in there and run the ball for us (74 yards on 10 carries),” Hutchison said. “We’re a little banged up, but even when we put our next guy in, we expect him to be the next man up and play the game.”
For Dayton, due to eligibility issues, only 16 players were available.
“I was impressed with the way they played tonight,” Bickelhaupt said. “The freshmen (Kleck, Tristin Willis, Cal Martin) stepped up and played some good football. We’ll have all of our players next week and that will help a ton.”
The Pioneers rushed for 312 yards on the night and travel to Enterprise Friday.
Smith finished with 122 rushing yards on 22 carries for the Bulldogs and Dayton begins a string of four road games with a trip to Stanfield Friday.
Mac-Hi 28, Dayton 0
Mac-Hi 14 0 7 7 — 28
Dayton 0 0 0 0 — 0
Mac-Hi — Copenhaver 29 run (Birdwell kick).
Mac-Hi — Copenhaver 12 run (Birdwell kick).
Mac-Hi — Rodriguez 13 run (Birdwell kick).
Mac-Hi — Copenhaver 7 run (Birdwell kick).
First Downs 12 15
Rushes/yards 35-312 47-205
Passing yards 24 30
Passes 7-1-0 10-5-0
Punts 2-36.5 3-40.0
Fumbles/Lost 3-2 4-2
Penalities-yards 4-18 7-50
RUSHING — Mac: Oliva 3-69, Copenhaver 14-142-3, Yensen 8-27, Rodriguez 10-74-1; Day: Smith 22-122, Kleck 6-31, Warner 7-25, Spalinger 10-46, Team 2-(-19).
PASSING — Mac: Copenhaver 1-7-0, 24 yards; Day: Warner 3-5-0, 13 yards, Smith 2-5-0, 17 yards.
RECEIVING — Mac: Podolski 1-24; Day: Smith 3-13, Waggoner 1-15, Kleck 1-2.